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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Cerebral palsy


Other Names for this Disease
  • Mixed cerebral palsy
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Overview

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that can affect the brain and/or spinal cord. Signs and symptoms generally appear during infancy or early childhood and vary based on the type of cerebral palsy (spastic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy), the severity of the condition and which area(s) of the brain are affected. Common features include a lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia); stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity); walking with one foot or leg dragging; walking on the toes, a crouched gait, or a "scissored" gait; and muscle tone that is either too stiff or too floppy. Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain. Most of these problems occur as the baby grows in the womb; however, they can happen at any time during the first 2 years of life. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment is available to alleviate some symptoms. This may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy; certain medications; surgery; and/or devices (i.e. braces, wheelchairs) to aid in mobility.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 11/18/2015

References

  1. Cerebral Palsy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. July 2015; http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/index.html.
  2. Cerebral Palsy. MedlinePlus. August 2013; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000716.htm.
  3. NINDS Cerebral Palsy Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. July 2015; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm.
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Basic Information

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • Mayo Clinic has an information page on Cerebral palsy.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Cerebral palsy. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Mixed cerebral palsy
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.