Cerebral Palsy

What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
CP is a life-time condition commonly described by the loss or impairment of motor function in a child, but it is actually caused by brain damage. It is non-life-threatening (except for children born with a severe case).

What are the causes?
As defined by the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, usually before a child is born. In many cases, the exact trigger of this abnormality is unknown.

Mayo Clinic also stated that factors that may lead to problems with brain development include:

  • Random mutations in genes that control brain development
  • Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus
  • Fetal stroke, a disruption of blood supply to the developing brain
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) related to difficult labor or delivery
  • Infant infections that cause inflammation in or around the brain
  • Traumatic head injury to an infant from a motor vehicle accident, fall or child abuse

There are three types of CP:

  1. Spastic Cerebral Palsy—causes stiffness and movement difficulties
  2. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy—leads to involuntary and uncontrolled movements
  3. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy—causes a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception

How does cerebral palsy affect a person?
Every case of cerebral palsy is unique to the individual. One child may have total paralysis and require constant care and another might have slight movement tremors but require little assistance.

Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle tone, coordination, reflex, posture and balance. CP can also affect fine motor, gross motor and oral motor skills.

The following are statistics as reported by CerebralPalsy.org:

  • Approximately 764,000 children and adults currently have cerebral palsy.
  • About 500,000 children are under 18 years of age currently have CP.
  • Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 babies and infants are diagnosed per year with CP.
  • About 10,000 babies born each year will develop cerebral palsy.
  • Approximately 1,200 to 1,500 preschool –aged children are diagnosed per year with cerebral palsy.

Is Cerebral palsy progressive?
No. The brain lesion is the result of a one-time brain injury and will not produce further degeneration of the brain; however, the injury is permanent.

For information in NJ, contact Cerebral Palsy Association  of Middlesex County in New Jersey at www.cpamc.org.

United Cerebral Palsy (NJ) call  1-732-549-6187.

Cerebral Palsy Source visit www.cerebralpalsysource.com or call 1-866-251-0808