Cerebral Palsy

Megan Brueggen


Cerebral Palsy can be caused by many different things. According to the Mayo Clinic website, "cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or disruption in the brain development, usually before the child is born" (1). We don't want to say that this could be caused by the maternal factor, but the risk is high. Although if the maternal factor has an infection, throughout the body it can affect the fetus. Often enough the parents genes are mutated, which in this case play's a huge role in this disorder. The genes control the development of the brain (Mayo Clinic Staff 1). It is possible that while in the womb the fetus may have a stroke, if that happens then it disrupts the blood supply to the developing brain."Maternal ... infections... apear to cause damage to the developing brain motor center"(Sheen 16). A personal experience from a book by Barbra Sheen. "My Cerebral palsy is in essence, the product of a 'blood war' which took place a little over 40 years back at birth. My mom and dad's blood types were very incompatible together... which damaged a tiny part of my brain and as a result, I was born into this world with legs that worked a little less than perfect" (18).

Physical Characteristics

Cerebral Palsy can affect many different parts of a person's body. People with Cerebral Palsy have a weakness in motor skills, which often affects their ability to walk, speak, and swallow(Sheen 6). Since some people are unable to walk they are wheel chair bound. Some people can still walk without a wheel chair, but may need a friends help. The Mayo Clinic staff states that "Osteoarthritis pressure on joints or abnormal alignment of joints from muscle spasticity may result in early development of a degenerative bone disease"(6).


Barbra Sheen author of Cerebral Palsy, states "Spastic Cerebral Palsy can affect all four limbs as well as muscles in the head, neck, trunk, tongue, and mouth"(21). Being able to sit up by yourself is a milestone to reach before your a year old, but may not happen because of "variations in muscle tone" (Mayo Clinic 1). Which would outcome as to floppy or to stiff(1). This shows how this affects babies and how they can't push up with their arms, crawl or rock. Another unfortunate symptom of this would include not being able to swallow or suck. This could mean malnutrition as a baby if the parents do not know that the baby can't suck and swallow.


Cerebral Palsy can be treated by many different therapies. Physical therapy will improve walking strength, and stretch the muscles that are tight(Mayo Clinic 2). Since the individuals language can also be affected there is speech and language pathologists that can diagnose that and get help that the patient needs. Mainly since the motor skills are affected there is occupational therapy. Occupational therapy will "work to promote your child's independent participation in daily activities and routines in the home, the school, and the community"(Mayo Clinic Staff 3). Mayo Clinic states that "surgery may be needed to lessen muscle tightness or correct bone abnormalities, caused by spasticity"(6).


When there is a problem this big, there needs to be something to help. Therapy may not cure but will definitely be a help. According to Barbara Sheen physical therapy is the most recommended(26). "Physical therapy focuses on improving gross motor skills"(Sheen 30). Which better improves the muscle use of a person's legs, arms, back, and abdomen. Through physical therapy muscle strength is built which helps improve balance, posture, flexibility, stamina and most important mobility(Sheen 30). At a Physical Therapy Center there is a lot of the same equipment, but yet are far different. They include a staff that are trained Medical Professionals to work with disabled patients.

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Cerebral Palsy is often located in the cerebellum.


Boy with Dog - N. A. "Google." Google. The Blade, 24 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Brain- "Cerebral Palsy." ISISA Charities - Cerebral Palsy, Children Who Need Help. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Therapy- "LifeNews.com." LifeNews.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Child-Cerebral Palsy Help Program." Cerebral Palsy Help Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Website- Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Definition." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Book-Sheen, Barbara. Cerebral Palsy. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 2003. Print.