As the most common disability in childhood, it’s likely that most of us have met or know someone with cerebral palsy (CP). But exactly what is cerebral palsy? Here’s what you need to know about the neurological disorder that affects an estimated 10,000 babies a year.
1. Cerebral Palsy Isn’t a Disease
It is not a sickness or disease and it can’t be caught. It is a brain injury that can be caused by a variety of factors, including lack of oxygen to the brain before or after birth.
2. There Are Many Types
Some people may think CP is one disorder — however, it’s actually a group of varying disorders. The most common kind of cerebral palsy is spastic CP, which involves stiffening of the muscles. Other types include ataxic CP, which causes coordination issues, and athetoid CP, which can cause unpredictable movements.
3. Boys are More Likely to Have CP
Studies show that a much higher rate of boys born with cerebral palsy than girls.
4. It Isn’t Genetic
Women and men with CP can go on to have healthy pregnancies and children.
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