Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder which appears in infacy and early childhood. It affects body movement and muscle coordination, however, it does not worsen over time. Although the cause of cerebral palsy it uncertain, most children are born with the disease however, early signs normally appear before the child reaches 3 years of age. Sadly, this disease can not be cured. Fortunately, treatment can reduce the severity of symptoms. Prolonged research continues to be done to solidify the cause of this disease.

  • 20% of children diagnosed with congenital cerebral palsy developed CP due to a brain injury during the birthing process.
  • An estimated 800,000 people have cerebral palsy in US (United Cerebral Palsy)
  • Cerebral palsy is the second most common neurological impairment in childhood.
  • 8,000 - 10,000 babies and infants are diagnosed annually with cerebral palsy.
  • In 2003 dollars, the average lifetime cost of cerebral palsy is an estimated $921,000. This does not include hospital visits, emergency room visits, residential care, and other out of pocket expenses (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes NINDS).
  • Two-thirds of children with cerebral palsy will be mentally impaired (NINDS)

Figure1. Where cerebral palsy occurs in the brain

Personal Story:
Cerebral Palsy has affected many people in the US. It is a tragic disease only because the child doesn't get enough oxygen at birth. I know someone who has cerebral palsy. She is 18 this year and her name is Lindsay. She is also legally blind, she also cannot eat out of her mouth because if she tried to swallow, the food would go to her lungs. She was born 1 of 3 triplets and she was the only one with cerebral palsy. the doctors told her mother that she was probably going to die but she ended up living and being fine. She recently got pneumonia and was in the hospital for 20 days. Because of her disease, when Lindsay gets a cold, it is harder for her to recover because her immune isn't as strong as someone without cerebral palsy. It has been a struggle for everyone in their family but they have coped with it very well even though they face new struggles everyday.
-Dina Albukhary