What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by damage to or abnormalities inside the developing brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance. The term cerebral refers to the brain; palsy refers to the loss or impairment of motor function.

How Cerebral Palsy is Classified:

Cerebral Palsy is classified in a number of ways, and a universal qualification system for Cerebral Palsy still does not exist. However, the two most common ways to classify Cerebral Palsy is by topographical distribution (Describes the body parts affected.) and by severity level (No CP, Mild, Moderate and Severe).

The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is also used to determine the physical capabilities of a patient/person with Cerebral Palsy. The GMFCS was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe (SCPE). This system focuses on what the child with Cerebral Palsy is able to do rather than on the limitations.

Types of Cerebral Palsy:

When you are defining Cerebral Palsy or trying to define the type of Cerebral Palsy through Topographical Distribution it is defined by using one word to describe the type (spastic, ataxic, dyskinetic etc) group with a term to describe how many limbs are affected. It may be helpful to know that “plegia” means paralyzed and “paresia” or “plegic” means weakened. Below is an infographic that I created to show the different types of CP and roughly where in the brain the damage is. As you can see the infographic also details which limbs are affected for each of the types of Cerebral palsy.

Types of Cerebral Palsy:

Click to Read More About Athetoid Cerebral Palsy (Coming soon!)

Click to Read More About Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Click to Read More About Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy (Coming soon!)

Click to Read More About Spastic Diplegia

Click to Read More About Spastic Quadriplegia

Classification By Severity Level:

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by damage to or abnormalities inside the developing brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance. The term cerebral refers to the brain; palsy refers to the loss or impairment of motor function.