Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a broad term used to describe a group of chronic disorders affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It appears at birth or in the first few years of life and generally does not worsen over time.
“Cerebral” meaning of the brain (referring to the two hemispheres of the brain)
“Palsy” meaning lack of muscle control/body movement
Cerebral Palsy is not caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. Instead, faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupts the brain’s ability to adequately control movement and posture.
Development of the brain starts in early pregnancy and continues until about the age of three. Damage to the brain during this time may result in Cerebral Palsy. This damage interferes with messages from the brain to the body, and from the body to the brain.
Cerebral Palsy is:
- A condition, not a disease
- Not hereditary
- Not contagious
- A life-long Condition
- Not life threatening
- People with CP have a normal life expectancy