The Cerebral Palsy Definition

A cerebral palsy definition is by nature very general. Understanding what it does and does not mean will enable you to better focus on helping your child get better.

The cerebral palsy definition covers a wide spectrum of physical disabilities resulting from brain damage early in the course of the brain's development.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), doctors use the term "cerebral palsy" to refer to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination. Click here to learn more about diagnosing cerebral palsy.

These disorders are not progressive. They don't get worse over time. The term "cerebral" refers to the brain, specifically in this case to the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that directs muscle movement. The term "palsy" refers to the loss or impairment of motor function.

Cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, but it is not caused by problems in or with the muscles or nerves. Instead, it is caused by damage to the brain that disrupts the brain's ability to control movement and posture.

The cerebral palsy definition covers a wide spectrum, ranging from mild to severe brain damage. Click here for information on different types of cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy does not always describe profound disabilities. While one child with severe cerebral palsy might be unable to walk and need extensive, lifelong care (such as our son), another with mild cerebral palsy might be only slightly awkward and require no special assistance.

Cerebral palsy is not a disease. It is not contagious, and it can not be passed from one generation to the next. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but effective parent-driven therapy can help many individuals improve their motor skills and their ability to communicate.

In some cases of cerebral palsy, the cerebral motor cortex hasn't developed normally during fetal growth. In others, the damage is a result of injury to the brain before, during, or after birth. Click here to learn more about causes of cerebral palsy.

According to the NIH and many health professionals, this damage is not repairable and the disabilities that result are permanent.

From our experience with our son as well as other cerebral palsy children, however, the disabilities can be treated. It may be true that the actual part of the brain that suffered damage may not repair itself, but the brain is very resilient.

With help, the brain can get better and even rewire itself to perform functions using other non-damaged parts of the brain.

The cerebral palsy definition states that the condition does not worsen over time. But if the brain is not treated and the body not functioning, the body will deteriorate due to that lack of function. Without help, the child's cerebral palsy symptoms therefore may in fact worsen. Click here for more information on cerebral palsy aging.

Don't believe the experts who say nothing can be done. With appropriate parent-driven therapy, progress can be made.

There is hope to make your child better.

To learn more about Cerebral Palsy, please investigate the following links:

Click here for the Cerebral Palsy Guide

Click here for Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Click here for Cerebral Palsy Causes

Click here for Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Click here for Cerebral Palsy Prognosis

Return from Cerebral Palsy Definition to Cerebral Palsy Guide