Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects thousands of infants and children each year. Cerebral Palsy is not contagious. Cerebral refers to the brain, and palsy refers to a weakness or problem in the way a person moves or positions his or her body. The term Cerebral Palsy is used to describe a group of chronic disorders impairing a person’s control over body movement. The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy appear during the first few years of life and generally do not worsen with time. The term cerebral refers to the brain's two halves, or hemispheres, and palsy describes any disorder that impairs control of body movement. Thus, these disorders are not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. The affects of Cerebral Palsy are the result of faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain. Cerebral Palsy disrupts the brain's ability to adequately control movement and posture.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy lie along a spectrum of varying severity. The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy vary in severity. Consider the varying degrees of severity in the following list of possible Cerebral Palsy symptoms:
- difficulty with fine motor tasks (writing, using scissors, etc.)
- trouble maintaining balance and walking
- involuntary movements (uncontrollable movement of the hands or drooling)
The symptoms differ from one person to the next, and may even change over time in the individual. Some people with cerebral palsy are also affected by other medical disorders, including seizures or mental impairment. Cerebral Palsy will not always cause severe handicaps. Some cases of Cerebral Palsy (Mild Cerebral Palsy) will only result in slight awkwardness and will not require special assistance. Cerebral Palsy cannot be cured, although continued improvements to treatment and prevention are being discovered through scientific research.
Consider the following list of varying types of Cerebral Palsy:
- Spastic Diplegia
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy (Spastic Quadriplegia, Spastic Diplegia, Spastic Hemiplegia, Spastic Triplegia, Spastic Paraplegia, Spastic Monoplegia, Spastic Hemiparesis, Hemiparetic Tremors,Scissors Gait, Spastic Quadriparesis, Hemianopia, Homonymous Hemianopia, Stereognosia, etc.)
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy (Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy, Dysarthria)
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (Wide-Based Gait, Intention Tremor)
- Mixed FormsCerebral Palsy (most common includes Spasticity Movementsand Athetoid Movements)