Is Cerebral Palsy Progressive?

We dedicate this section of our website to offering useful information on cerebral palsy and its related topics, as well as questions asked by some of you. This time we want to have a closer look into the progressiveness or lack of in cerebral palsy.

Let’s Have a Look at Cerebral Palsy 

Is cerebral palsy progressive?

In the handbook of Clinical Neurology 2018 we find out that cerebral palsy as you might know, is a common motor disorder. This is associated with a lifelong disability. It is usually regarded as a childhood condition and it is largely defined by a group of developmental conditions rather than singled out.

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, however, this can be significantly improved over time. Symptoms vary, but mainly they are connected to the muscle imbalance, thus provoking difficulties in walking, moving, and in more advanced cases of CP, talking, swallowing and other daily tasks that can be challenging.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent disease but it is nonprogressive. However, this doesn’t mean changes aren’t taking place. A lot of the times unfortunately, it comes accompanied by other disorders such as autism, epilespy, visual and hearing impairments.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Is cerebral palsy progressive?

Often, motor disorders come along with disturbances of different senses, such as sensation, perception, cognition, and behavior. As we learn from various studies and information that’s included in the handbook of Clinical Neurology 2018, the prevalence of CP decreseas with increasing gestionational age category: ‘’in preterm infants spastic CP is predominant, and in term infants the nonspastic form of CP is more prevalent than in preterm infants.’’

The most common type of CP is bilateral spastic CP(diplegia and tetraplegia). ‘’There is a prevalence of 1.2 per 1000 live births but up to 40 to 50 per 1000 in low birthweight babies. It is mostly acquired in the third trimester and periventricular lesions (PVL) are predominant. ‘’

Spastic hemipleegia accounts for 0.7 per 1000 live births and tends to occur in two-thirds of term births and a quarter of preterm births. Dyskinetic CP is most associated with asphyxiation or shock. Ataxic CP happens usually in term births.

Cerebral Palsy – Progressive?

Cerebral Palsy - Progressive?

As mentioned before, cerebral palsy is a non progressive condition, meaning it can be improved in time. A lot of treatments and therapies are now available from very young ages, alongside with if needed surgeries to aid in improving balance and coordination. 

A lot of people ask if it gets worse with age or if its symptoms are more acute with age. Cerebral palsy does not get worse with age, studies have found. There are a lot of adults diagnosed with CP who go on to live a long and independent life. The degree of independence may vary with each case. But adults with CP can still work a full-time job and learn to live on their own. Others with more severe forms of CP and/or other coexisting conditions may need full-time daily assistance.

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Olivia Dejeu
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