Cerebral palsy is a group of chronic disorders impairing control of movement that appear in the first few years of life and generally do not worsen over time. These disorders are caused by faulty development of or damage to motor areas in the brain that disrupts the brain's ability to control movement and posture.
Cerebral palsy may be congenital or acquired after birth. Congenital causes include brain injury or malformation due to:
- Intrauterine hypoxia (low blood oxygen)
- Problems with the placenta
- Genetic abnormalities
In many instances, the cause of the brain abnormality is unknown.
Several of the causes of cerebral palsy that have been identified through research are preventable or treatable, including:
Some people with cerebral palsy are also affected by other medical disorders, such as
. But, cerebral palsy does not always cause intellectual disability.
Although its symptoms may change over time, cerebral palsy by definition is not progressive. If a patient shows increased impairment, the problem may be something other than cerebral palsy.
Roughly two out of 1,000 children are affected.
Cerebral palsy isn't curable. However, getting the right therapy for your child can make a big difference in reducing the long-term impact of the condition.
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.