Encouraging Growth, Changing Lives
Enriching Communities

What is Cerebral Palsy?

cerebral palsy

There are many different kinds and levels of severity of cerebral palsy.

While most people think of cerebral palsy as a single disorder, it is actually a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move. These developmental disorders not only affect the movement but can also affect a part or the entire brain. Let’s take a moment to discuss what these disorders are and how they affect your loved ones.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy can be broken up into two different terms “cerebral” meaning “of the brain” and “palsy” meaning “lack of muscle control.” Together these two terms mean a ground of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move their muscles. These disorders are caused by damage to the developing brain and can happen during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy can affect people in different ways including body movement, muscle control, muscle tone, reflexes, posture, balance, and muscle coordination. Although cerebral palsy is a permanent condition, some symptoms can improve or worsen over time depending on treatment. While these conditions can be unaccompanied by any other disabilities, they are often paired with visual, hearing, learning, speech, epilepsy, and intellectual impairments. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common physical childhood disabilities and affects nearly 17 million people worldwide.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can be described by the way it affects the patient’s movement, the part of the body that is affected, and how severe the attacks are. There are three different combinations in which the body is affected. The first is called quadriplegia. This form of cerebral palsy affects both the arms and legs and may also affect the trunk, face, and mouth. Diplegia cerebral palsy affects both legs and may affect the arms to a lesser extent. Hemiplegia only affects one side of the body. There are four different ways cerebral palsy can affect a person’s movements. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of this disorder and affects 70 to 80 percent of individuals. This form is caused by motor cortex damage that causes the muscles to feel stiff and tight. Dyskinesia cerebral palsy only affects about six percent of the population and is caused by basal ganglia damage. This form is characterized by involuntary movements of the muscles. Ataxic cerebral palsy is characterized by shaky movements and affects the balance and sense of special positioning. This form is caused by cerebellum damage and only affects about six percent of the population. There is also a combination of all three of these forms that affect the entire body. The final classification of cerebral palsy is the severity of the disorder. Cerebral palsy can affect the gross motor, fine motor, and communication skills. Each of these skills varies in levels and can affect the way a person lives their lives. There are many different types of cerebral palsy but with the correct treatment and understanding, these patients can be helped. For more information on our developmental disabilities services, call Family Service Foundation today!

Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!

Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilitiesvisit here. Do you “Follow” and “Like?” Be sure to stay active on our official pages on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest today!