Cerebral Palsy

Also known as: CP, Little’s disease, spastic paralysis, spastic hemiplegia, spastic diplegia and spastic quadriplegia

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder, often as a consequence of events in the early years of life, which affect the neurological function at various levels. Children may have difficulty in moving in a coordinated manner, learning and behavioral problems or seizures.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

For many cases of cerebral palsy, the cause is not known. Others can be linked to issues during pregnancy that resulted in brain damage or abnormal brain development. Babies born prematurely, particularly those of low birth weight are more likely to have CP than full term babies.

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Symptoms can include stiff muscles, lack of muscle coordination, tremors, slow or decreased movements, trouble walking or moving, drooling, difficulty swallowing, problems with speech and eating, delays in speech, seizures, hearing and vision problems and many other developmental problems.

Care Options for Cerebral Palsy

There is no cure for cerebral palsy. Treatment is focused on therapy to help the child develop physically and mentally as well as possible. Medication or surgery can also be a possibility for specific symptoms and complications such as spasticity and seizures.

Reviewed by: Migvis Monduy, MD

This page was last updated on: March 12, 2021 02:18 PM

Cerebral Palsy and Spasticity Program

The program strives to treat and prevent mechanically unbalanced joints in children with spasticity to improve functional performance and foster a more independent lifestyle.

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Patient Success Stories

Celebrating Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month with Kyrie

Kyrie was born prematurely at only 24 weeks and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler. Life keeps getting better for Kyrie after a life-changing surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital that has enabled him to do things his parents never before thought possible, such as swimming and horseback riding. He is now walking independently and continues to show his fighting spirit. Read More.

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Spasticity and Movement Disorders

Spasticity is one form of movement disorder, that presents as increased tone or stiffness of the muscles that causes an inability to produce and control bodily movements. Learn more

Spasticity and Contractures

Spasticity and contractures are conditions in which muscle imbalance across a joint leads to abnormal positioning and tightness. Spasticity refers to involuntary tightening or stiffening of muscles. The term contracture refers to abnormal positioning of a joint. Learn more

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a form of therapy that helps people rehabilitate through exercises and other means in order to perform their ordinary, daily tasks or work-related functions. Learn more

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a form of therapy that helps people rehabilitate through exercises, stretching and orthopedics in order to regain the mobility and function of their bodies. Learn more