By Betty Boyd
Dr. Ira Adams specializes in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine/Pediatrics at Emory University Hospital. She also is a teaching Professor and is associated with the Medical Development Progress Clinic.
A broad definition of Cerebral Palsy is that CP is a non-progressive neurological brain abnormality associated with functional motor impact. Some of the areas impacted include fine and gross motor skills, speech, and cognitive functions. Because of how CP affects the brain, a person might not be able to walk, talk, eat, or move the way most people do. CP also affects a person’s muscle tone and ability to coordinate body movements.
The most common forms of therapy include, speech, occupational, physical, aquatic, and hippotherapy. It affects young infants, mainly with their motor skills. Motor skills are the most common form that is not directly related to cognitive skills or overall development. Sometimes, a child’s Cerebral Palsy will only affect his or her physical functioning. However, about 30 to 50 percent of children with Cerebral Palsy have some level of cognitive impairment.
Dr. Adams says that Cerebral Palsy rates have both decreased over time and in their severity, and people can live full and productive lives. There is research being done to better understand the changes and seriousness of this disability.
Along with medication, there is also assisted devices (strollers, walkers) and other technology to help children with Cerebral Palsy.
For more information on Cerebral Palsy please see refer to the CDC link provided in this article.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood.