About Cerebral Palsy


Cerebral Palsy is...

A term used to encompass a number of disorders of the developing brain affecting body movement, posture and muscle coordination.

Caused  by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring  during fetal development; before, during, or shortly after birth;  during infancy; or during early childhood.

Not a disease, not progressive, nor communicable.

U.S. Statistics

  • It is estimated that 764,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more of the symptoms of cerebral palsy.
  • According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year about 10,000 babies born in the United Sates will develop cerebral palsy.
  • 1,200 – 1,500 preschool age children are also recognized to have cerebral palsy each year.
  • A 2009 CDC study found that the average prevalence of Cerebral Palsy in 2004 was 3.3 per 1,000. The prevalence was significantly higher in boys than girls overall (with a male/female ratio of 1.4/1).

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Spastic Cerebral Palsy: characterized by muscle stiffness and permanent contractions.
Athetoid or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: characterized by uncontrolled, slow, writhing movements.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: characterized by poor coordination and balance.

Is Cerebral Palsy Curable?

At this time, there is no cure for the developmental brain damage that causes cerebral palsy. Training and therapy, however, can help improve muscle function and coordination. Studies have found that children who receive early intervention services such as physical and occupational therapy and other support services are more likely to lead a more typical and improved quality of life.

Life Expectancy

Past medical studies on cerebral palsy do not indicate any life expectancy trends, but research strongly suggests that life expectancy is correlated to severity of disabilities. Patients who have severe forms of cerebral palsy – particularly lack of mobility, lack of ability to feed oneself, or severe respiratory impairment – are expected to have a shortened lifespan, while those who are fully ambulatory and capable of self feeding have normal life expectancy.

More Information

United Cerebral Palsy: http://www.ucp.org/

The CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/ddcp.htm

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm

Aspire of Western New York Diasbility Services: www.aspirewny.com

Developmental Disability Alliance of Western New York: www.ddawny.org

Cerebral Palsy Support for Families: http://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com/support/

Cerebral Palsy Guidance Website  https://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/