Cerebral Palsy Information

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a term referring to a group of motor conditions that cause extensive physical disabilities that affect motor skills.

The cause of cerebral palsy is chiefly damage to the motor control center of the developing brain which occurs during pregnancy and/or childbirth. Cerebral palsy babies and cerebral palsy infants have limited movements and postures which cause activity limitation that can be accompanied by disturbances in sensation, depth perception, communication and cognition.

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from one child to another, however all forms are characterized by abnormal muscle tone, reflexes or motor development/coordination. Joint and bone deformities are common as are spasms and involuntary movements, and balance problems. Scissor and toe walking are common among sufferers.

Cerebral palsy symptoms fall on a continuum of motor dysfunction ranging from slight clumsiness to severe impairments.

Other conditions associated with cerebral palsy include seizures, epilepsy, apraxia, dysarthria, communication disorders, eating problems, sensory impairments, mental retardation, learning disabilities, urinary incontinence and behavioral disorders.

Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Cerebral palsy is typically not diagnosed until it becomes evident when a child reaches a developmental stage around 6.5-9 months of age, when mobilization begins.

An experienced medical professional is typically able to produce the diagnosis based on the child’s history and an examination. At times, an MRI or CT scan is necessary to rule out other underlying conditions and to predict the likelihood of developing associated conditions (i.e. epilepsy and mental retardation).

In many cases, because cerebral palsy is most frequently caused by medical errors or mistakes, the condition is preventable and avoidable, when proper medical precautions are taken.