Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects movement, posture and co-ordination caused
by the immature brain receiving an injury or not developing properly. Causes can
be multiple and complex and sometimes there is no obvious single reason as to the
cause of CP. Possible causes include:
• The mother or the baby having an infection
in early pregnancy
• Difficult or premature birth
• Cerebral (brain) bleed or abnormal development of baby's brain • A genetic link
(however, this is quite rare)There are three main
types of cp, although most people will have a combination of the
• Spastic cerebral palsy - most common form. The muscles are
stiff and have limited range of movements
• Athetoid or Dyskinetic cerebral palsy - involuntary movements as
muscle tone changes from floppy to tense. May also experience
difficulty with hearing and speech.
• Ataxic cerebral palsy - balance is difficult with uncoordinated
movements affecting the whole body. May have shaky hands and
irregular speech. In some people, cerebral palsy is barely
noticeable. Others will be more severely affected. No two people
with cerebral palsy are the same.
Incidence and prevalence The widely accepted figure
for people with cerebral palsy (CP) in the general population is one in four hundred
(1:400) or 2 - 2.5 per thousand live births. This equates to approximately 113,510
people with CP in the UK, based on approximately 1800 children being born with CP
each year and a UK projected population (in the 2001 census) of 61,269000. It is
generally accepted that CP is the most prevalent physical impairment amongst children.
Extreme caution has to be applied to any data on cerebral palsy.
Treatment Cerebral Palsy cannot be 'cured' but early support and therapeutic intervention
can help with development and the effects of CP upon the muscles and motor control.
Most people with CP will require intervention from a number of professionals throughout
• Social Services • GP • Paediatricians and specialist consultants
e.g. • Orthopaedic Surgeons, • Neurologists, • Physiotherapists, • Occupational Therapy •
Speech and Language Therapists • Respite and Domiciliary Care • Specialist Carers •