What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Most people associate Cerebral Palsy (CP) with abnormal muscle control, coordination, reflexes, and balance. These are all prominent symptoms of a neurological disorder stemming from brain damage that normally occurs very early in life when the brain is developing.

CP can lead to a range of impairments that affect patients in multiple ways. Many patients, however, are able to live with Cerebral Palsy by removing or working around barriers over time.

Defining Cerebral Palsy 

Cerebral Palsy is not a disease, and though it can result in chronic, long-term difficulties for patients, the condition is not degenerative – the precipitating neurological issue won't get worse over time. The vast majority of CP cases are not not life-threatening, but the disorder is certainly life-changing.

No known treatment exists for reversing the brain damage that causes CP. However, the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can become more manageable through medications, therapies, and other available treatments.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Many Cerebral Palsy cases are genetic. Others occur due to risk factors such as:

  • Abnormal development of the prenatal brain
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Exposure to infection passed on by the mother
  • Oxygen deprivation during labor
  • Damage to the brain's white matter (periventricular leukomalacia)
  • Brain injury or bleeding in the brain

A Cerebral Palsy diagnosis is a trying event for any family. The impact it could have on a child is often unpredictable, which is why it's important for professional caregivers and families to come together to determine the best way to manage the condition.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

The optimal solution for managing Cerebral Palsy will depend on the challenges a patient faces in his or her everyday life. The condition manifests in a variety of different ways, so one treatment could have different levels of efficacy for different patients.

MyChild Cerebral Palsy Foundation is dedicated to providing those affected by CP the broadest range of resources possible for coping with the disorder. This includes financial support for treatments as well as comprehensive online information and a supportive Web community of people facing similar circumstances.

To learn more about what can be done about Cerebral Palsy, please connect with our Foundation today.