Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is immature. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination, however the child may also experience other problems of development.
Every case of cerebral palsy is unique to the individual. There are different causes of CP and different patterns and severity of impairments. Children with CP often present other impairments such as hearing, vision or cognitive deficits. Although cerebral palsy is damage to the brain that currently cannot be fully repaired, treatment and therapy help manage the effects on the child’s development, and improve the participation of children and youth in the activities that are important for their development, so as to improve their quality of life and that of their families,.
Overview For Parents
- Cerebral palsy is a complex and highly diverse disorder.
- A large variety of causes and risk factors may interact to cause a particular child’s cerebral palsy.
- Several research studies have identified risk factors that may arise prenatally (prior to labour and delivery), perinatally (during the birthing process) or postnatally (after birth in the first year of life).
- Many studies are currently searching for new ways to prevent, cure, and treat CP.
- There are several treatments that can help improving motor function, support participation in meaningful activities and a good quality of life for children and youth with CP.
Overview For Clinicians
- Recent studies using a variety of methodologies have identified genetic abnormalities in as many as 15-30% of unselected cases of cerebral palsy pulled from population-based registries.
- Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) or high resolution microarray is now widely available to clinicians and should be considered as a first line test, along with neuroimaging, in the diagnostic evaluation of cerebral with clinically documented or suspected cerebral palsy.
- Families and youth with CP place a high value on participation in leisure activities. There is evidence-supporting interventions to promote participation, policies that families have the right to access, and resources to help families connect to adapted leisure activities.
- CIMT is one of the rehabilitation interventions with high-quality evidence supporting its efficacy for children with hemiplegic CP.