Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and to maintain balance and posture. The disorders appear in the first few years of life. Usually they do not get worse over time. People with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking. They may also have trouble with tasks such as writing or using scissors. Some have other medical conditions, including seizure disorders or mental impairment.
Cerebral palsy happens when the areas of the brain that control movement and posture do not develop correctly or get damaged. Early signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before 3 years of age. Babies with cerebral palsy are often slow to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk. Some babies are born with cerebral palsy; others get it after they are born.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment can improve the lives of those who have it. Treatment includes medicines, braces, and physical, occupational and speech therapy.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Cerebral Palsy (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Cerebral Palsy (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Cerebral Palsy (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Cerebral Palsy -- Hope through Research (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Available in Spanish
- Facts about Cerebral Palsy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections to Treat Spasticity (American Academy of Neurology) - PDF
- Dressing with Ease, Style and Comfort (ALS Association) - PDF
- Employees with Cerebral Palsy (Office of Disability Employment Policy)
- Hypertonia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Spasticity (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
Statistics and Research
- Data and Statistics for Cerebral Palsy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Cerebral Palsy (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Neurodevelopmental Outcome After a Single Course of Antenatal Steroids in...
- Article: Randomized controlled trial of web-based multimodal therapy for unilateral cerebral...
- Article: Tendon transfer surgery in upper-extremity cerebral palsy is more effective...
- Cerebral Palsy -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation Available in Spanish
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- United Cerebral Palsy (United Cerebral Palsy Associations)