What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions that affect muscle control and movement, and is caused by damage to the developing brain. It is not a hereditary condition, not a disease, nor is it contagious.
Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that results from a brain injury. That brain injury can occur due to trauma, asphyxia, infection, or a variety of other reasons.
In most cases, the brain injury which leads to the development of cerebral palsy occurs when the infant is deprived of blood flow (oxygen) to the brain during pregnancy, during delivery, or shortly after birth. This can be caused by improper fetal distress signal monitoring, a failure to recognize known health risks, improper birthing techniques used by doctors, or other types of medical malpractice.
There are some cases were cerebral palsy occurs sometime after the child has already been born. In these cases, the injury may or may not be the result of medical malpractice and the actual causes vary quite a bit (e.g. brain infections such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis).
Cerebral palsy is a condition that is primarily observed in the muscles. People with cerebral palsy have varying degrees of inability to control their muscles, and may suffer from spasms or involuntary movements. Performing very fine tasks may be difficult to impossible for some.
There are different classifications of cerebral palsy, and each type has its characteristic features. For example, spastic cerebral palsy and ataxic cerebral palsy are different types of the disorder with their own unique characteristics. Some cases can be very mild (and can actually go undetected), while other cases can be very severe and debilitating.
Cerebral Palsy impacts the everyday lives of everyone from babies, children and adults suffering from the condition, to the people in their lives dedicated to helping them deal with the affects of this disability. There are many challenges associated with raising a child with cerebral palsy or helping a family member or loved one through their difficulties, and this site is intended to be a resource for those who would like to learn more about the causes, treatments and symptoms of cerebral palsy.