How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect the Body?

Cerebral palsy, which is also known as CP, affects a person’s body in many different ways. People who have the condition have difficulty with communication and eating, and they often drool excessively. Some other effects include uncontrollable muscle movements and tremors. CP can also affect an individual’s balance and movement. It can even affect their sleep.

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of disorders that are caused by a brain abnormality or injury. The symptoms of CP may change over time, and some can improve with treatment. Some effects of cerebral palsy can be challenging for caregivers. 


Most cerebral palsy is diagnosed within a child’s first two years of life. If your child has been diagnosed, keep reading to learn more about the causes of CP and how it is treated.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused when the parts of the brain that control movement are damaged or develop abnormally. This damage most often occurs either immediately before, after, or during the birth process. In a small number of cases, it can be caused by brain damage or infections during childhood.

Parents of affected children face a lifetime of medical and care expenses. If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a medical mistake or negligence, visit to learn more about the resources that can help you. 

The brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy is devastating to the individual because it affects the brain’s white matter. The white matter carries nerve impulses, so it is the part of the brain that allows your brain’s messages to travel from place to place. 

The damage that is caused to the brain in people with cerebral palsy has been linked to a number of issues. These can include:

  • Hearing problems
  • Vision problems
  • Seizures
  • Learning disabilities
  • Bladder and bowel control
  • Dental problems
  • Mental retardation
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Skeletal disorders

In some cases of CP, the cause is unknown. If you do not know the cause of your child’s condition, you may benefit from asking your healthcare providers to investigate it. This can help alleviate any guilt you may be feeling. Documentation of the cause could also benefit you if you decide to file a birth injury lawsuit. 

How Is Cerebral Palsy Treated?

While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, there are a number of treatments available that can improve the symptoms. The following types of treatment have allowed many individuals with CP to go on to lead fulfilling lives. 


Your child’s doctor may prescribe oral medications to relax their muscles. Some of these drugs include tizanidine, baclofen, and diazepam. Be sure to discuss any potential side-effects of medication with the physician. 

Speech Therapy

There are many ways speech and language therapy can help individuals with CP to communicate. In some cases, it can teach them to speak more clearly, while others will learn to use sign language or speech synthesizers

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists use strength and resistance training to improve the balance and motor skills in people who have CP. Some individuals will also be given orthotic devices to improve their mobility. 

Recreational Therapy

Recreation therapy can give children with CP a chance to be a kid. It can improve self-esteem because it gives them a chance to participate in fun activities like sports and art. 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help those with cerebral palsy to care for themselves so they can do the things we all do every day, like dressing ourselves and going to school. This can greatly enhance a person’s quality of life.

No one type of therapy works for everyone with cerebral palsy. Your doctors will determine the correct treatment for each patient based upon their needs. If you are caring for a loved one with CP, support for caregivers and family members is available. You do not have to bear this burden alone. 

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