Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad diagnostic term used to describe a problem with
movement and posture that makes certain activities difficult. Although someone
who has cerebral palsy may have problems moving his or her muscles, this is not
because there is something wrong with the muscles or nerves. These difficulties
are caused because of problems in the brain. CP can be the result of an injury to
the brain during gestation or in the first year of life, or it occur when the brain
does not develop properly during gestation. The injured or abnormal brain is
unable to optimally control movement and posture.
Simply stated, “cerebral” refers to the brain, and “palsy” refers to muscle
weakness and poor control. Although the brain itself will not get worse, people
who have CP will usually change over time. Sometimes they will get better, and
some patients will stay the same. Occasionally they will get worse, usually
because of changing muscle tone or development of joint contractures.
There is currently no cure for CP; however there are different treatment options
for people who have it. These options include therapy, medications, surgery,
education and support. By taking advantage of these treatments, people with CP
can . . .