Cerebral palsy is a group of non-progressive disorders that can impair brain and nervous system function. Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance.
Cerebral palsy is caused by injuries or abnormalities to the brain. These abnormalities can occur from any time during pregnancy up until the first two years of life (while the brain is still developing). The most common cause of CP is hypoxia (low levels of oxygen to the brain).
Some symptoms of cerebral palsy include muscle tightness or spasticity, involuntary movement, and disturbance in gait or mobility. Symptoms can be from vary mild to severe, and they are unique to each individual. Cerebral palsy can affect and be more pronounced in one side of the body, both sides of the body, just one leg, or both arms.
You cannot cure cerebral palsy. However, you can manage the symptoms. Certain medications, surgery, and braces may be used to improve nerve and muscle coordination and prevent or minimize dysfunction.
This is only an overview of the condition and its symptoms. We highly encourage you to visit UCP of MetroBoston’s page on CP for more in-depth information about the history, types, early signs, prevention, treatment, and research of cerebral palsy.