What is Cerebral Palsy??

Doctor Warwick Peacock

"It's some insult to  the brain at a very early stage, usually round about delivery, and that doesn't really change later in life.  But what does change is the manifestations of the disorder.  Children initially  are often very floppy who go on to develop cerebral palsy, but later on they become spastic and have tight muscles."

Dr. Peacock performed a surgical procedure called a 'rhyzotomy' on Kassie in 1993 to help relieve the spacticity in her legs. Kassie's gait improved trememdously following the surgery, which was performed at the UCLA Medical Center.

"Cerebral" refers to the brain and "palsy" to muscle weakness/poor control. Cerebral palsy itself is not progressive (i.e. brain damage does not get worse); however, secondary conditions, such as muscle spasticity, can develop which may get better over time, get worse, or remain the same. Cerebral palsy is not communicable. It is not a disease and should not be referred to as such. Although cerebral palsy is not "curable" in the accepted sense, training and therapy can help improve function.

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development; before, during, or shortly after birth; or during infancy. Thus, these disorders are not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. Instead, faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupt the brain's ability to adequately control movement and posture.

Information provided by United Cerebral Palsy Assoc.

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