Cerebral Palsy News

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that most often occurs before birth, although it sometimes develops during infancy or early childhood. The resulting symptoms are due to a brain that doesn’t develop normally or an injury to the brain. A child with cerebral palsy typically has a lack of muscle coordination, stiff movements, difficulty moving or walking and stiff or floppy muscle tone. Some have vision or speech difficulties as well. Symptoms do not get worse as the child gets older.

Though the vast majority of children with cerebral palsy were born with the disorder, it can also occur during early childhood while the brain is still developing. A car accident, a fall, child abuse or a brain infection from a disease like meningitis or encephalitis can all lead to the development of cerebral palsy.

Variations in Cerebral Palsy

The condition and needs of people with cerebral palsy can vary widely. Some have minor problems controlling their muscles and moving, while others have severe muscle problems that are accompanied by developmental delay and other disorders. Though the disease cannot be cured, many with cerebral palsy can go on to lead fairly normal, highly functioning lives as older children and adults.


The main focus of cerebral palsy treatment is to help the person live as normal a life as possible. Often, this involves a combination of education and physical, occupational and speech therapy to help people with cerebral palsy maximize their muscle use and move, speak and interact as well as they can with others. Some people will need assistive devices like braces, walkers or wheelchairs to help them move around, but others will not.

In addition, some people with cerebral palsy will need to take regular medications. This might include drugs to alleviate pain, relax tense muscles or control seizures. Corrective surgery might also be an option in some cases to help with movement.

SOURCES: March of Dimes Foundation; U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Date Posted
Article Title
'Exoskeletons' May Help Kids With Cerebral Palsy Walk

High-tech motorized device aims to correct disabling gait pattern

Robotic Device May Help Gait in Kids With Cerebral Palsy

Those with condition known as 'crouch gait' had better posture and balance after 15 training sessions

Obesity in Pregnancy Tied to Cerebral Palsy Risk in Kids

But study authors stress that a cause-and-effect link wasn't proven

More 'Extreme Preemies' Are Surviving

Babies born at 22 and 24 weeks still face tough odds, but neonatal care improvements have been key, doctors say

Drug Used for Preemie Eye Disease Tied to Disabilities

Babies given Avastin were far more likely to have neurological complications, study shows

Mistakes During Delivery Rarely Cause Newborn Brain Damage, Study Contends

Findings suggest closer scrutiny needed during the 2 hours following birth

Though Rare, Some Disabilities Seen Long After Newborn Heart Surgery

Study authors suggest a lack of oxygen before the procedure may play a role

Too Few Kids With Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy Get Flu Shot: Study

But they are more likely to develop flu-rated complications

Teens With Cerebral Palsy Report High Quality of Life in Survey

But peer support was often lacking, and pain and severe motor impairment affected happiness

When Colds, Flu Lead to Complications in Kids

About a third of children admitted to hospital for these infections develop respiratory issues, study finds

Genes May Raise Risk of Cerebral Palsy, Study Finds

But expert stresses that chance of being born with the disability is small

Tongue Piercing Helps Paralyzed People Drive Wheelchairs

Although not yet on the market, magnetic technology may let users move with greater speed, ease

Human Error Usually the Cause of Lack of Oxygen During Childbirth

Condition can lead to brain damage, death in infants

U.S. Preemie Birth Rate Continues to Fall: Report

But, rate still highest among industrialized countries

Scientists Shed New Light on Cerebral Palsy, Early Infant Death

Birth defects, poor fetal growth appear to be primary risk factors, study finds

Pregnancy Problem, Smaller Babies Tied to Cerebral Palsy Risk in Study

Researchers in Norway found higher risk in premature babies of mothers with high blood pressure

U.S. Children's Hospitals Treating More Complex, Expensive Conditions

Researchers find biggest increase in patients with special needs, such as cerebral palsy

Kids With Neurological Conditions at Higher Risk of Flu Death: CDC

Medical, parenting groups working to increase flu vaccination, awareness

'Toe-Walking' More Common in Kids With Mental Woes: Study

Many healthy children also adopt this stance, which can lead to posture problems, experts say

Most 'Extreme Preemies' Grow Into Happy, Healthy Teens

These children, born at less than 2.2 pounds, tended to fare well by adolescence, study found

Steroids May Boost Survival for Very Preemie Babies

New study also found reduced risk of brain injury for preterm infants

Protein May Help Spot Newborns With Brain Damage

Doctors already track GFAP levels to measure brain injury in adults

Gene Sequencing Helps Twins With Rare Disorder

Children thrived after results found they had a subtype of disease requiring different treatment

Kids With Cerebral Palsy May Have Asymmetric Pelvic Bones

Any spinal surgery should take this misalignment into account, researchers say

Low Vitality Score at Birth Associated with Cerebral Palsy Risk

But 90 percent with low scores did not develop the disease, researchers said

Injections May Relieve Drooling in Nerve-Damaged Kids

Botulinum toxin's effect lasted up to 33 weeks in some, including cerebral palsy patients, study finds

Babies Born Late May Face Small Cerebral Palsy Risk

But researcher cautioned real risk is still very low for both late-term and pre-term newborns

Tiniest Babies Don't Hurt Family Health in Long Run

Study finds few differences compared to normal weight peers by young adulthood

Cell Transplantation Eyed as Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

Researchers saw neurological function improve without serious side effects

Research Sheds Light on Increasing Cerebral Palsy Rates Among Preemies

Findings suggest link to umbilical cord inflammation

New Guidelines Suggest Botox for Cerebral Palsy

Drug injections can reduce muscle spasticity, experts say

Cooling May Reduce Brain Lesions in Newborns

Treatment after oxygen deprivation accounts for better motor skills later, study suggests

Cooling Helps Oxygen-Deprived Newborns

Study found it lowered risk of neurological problems later

Very Small Head Size Could Signal Problems in Newborns

Early screening urged for detection of epilepsy and other health issues, experts say

FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox

Injection to relax muscle spasms carries severe risks, agency says

Compounds Found to Protect Rabbits From Cerebral Palsy

Discovery called exciting, but human application remains elusive, expert says

Late Preterm Birth Poses Developmental Risks

Caesarean or induction should not be done before 39 weeks unless necessary, study says

U.S. Gets a 'D' for Preterm Birth Rates

March of Dimes says 18 states plus Puerto Rico and District of Columbia get failing grades

Antibiotics for Preterm Labor Linked to Cerebral Palsy

Risk is small, and women shouldn't shun the drugs entirely, experts say

Magnesium Sulfate Reduces Threat of Cerebral Palsy

Compound given to women at risk of preterm birth cuts risk in half, study finds

Australian Study Seeks Genetic Roots of Cerebral Palsy

Reseachers to gather 10,000 samples in study of this pregnancy complication

FDA Warns of Children's Deaths Linked to Botox

Anti-wrinkle drug and competitor Myobloc under agency safety review

Epsom Salt Cut Cerebral Palsy Rate in Half Among Preemies

Researchers note most hospitals already stocked with simple, inexpensive solution

Neurological Disorders Strike Millions

New government report gives latest estimates, which show increases in Alzheimer's, MS cases

Cerebral Palsy Declines in High-Risk Infants

European study suggests better neonatal care is paying off for low birth weight babies

Study Yields Clues to Cerebral Palsy

Infections during pregnancy, premature delivery linked to the illness

Health Tip: Cerebral Palsy Hampers Muscle Control

People with CP also may have seizures

Botox Shots Help Kids With Cerebral Palsy

Regimen strengthens muscles weakened by the disease, doctors explain