March is Cerebral Palsy (CP) Awareness Month, and we are celebrating by sharing some facts about this disorder.
Cerebral Palsy Facts
- “Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” to muscle weakness or poor control.
- The causes of cerebral palsy include prematurity, genetic disorders, strokes, and infection of the brain.
- The United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCP) estimates that more than 500,000 Americans have Cerebral Palsy.
- Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting the body’s movement and muscle coordination.
- The signs of CP vary greatly because there are many different types and levels of disability.
- There is no cure for CP.
- It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, which usually occurs during fetal development, before, during, or shortly after birth, or during infancy.
- Cerebral palsy is classified into four broad categories: Spastic, Athetoid (or dyskinetic), Ataxic, and Mixed.
- The main sign that a child might have CP is a delay reaching motor or movement milestones.
- Cerebral palsy itself is not progressive (brain damage does not get worse). However secondary conditions, such as muscle spasticity, can develop which over time may get better, worse, or remain the same.