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Definition of «Cerebral palsy»

Cerebral palsyCerebral palsyCerebral palsyCerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy: An abnormality of motor function (the ability to move and control movements) that is acquired at an early age, usually less than a year of age, and is due to a brain lesion that is non-progressive. Cerebral palsy (CP) is frequently the result of abnormalities that occur in utero, while the fetus is developing inside the mother's womb. Such abnormalities may include accidents of brain development, genetic disorders, stroke due to abnormal blood vessels or blood clots, or infection of the brain. In rare instances, obstetrical accidents during particularly difficult deliveries can cause brain damage and result in CP. CP may be divided into spastic, choreoathetoid, and hypotonic (flaccid) CP. In spastic CP, there is an abnormality of muscle tone in which one or more extremities (arm or leg) is held in a rigid posture. Choreoathetoid CP is associated with abnormal, uncontrollable, writhing movements of the arms and/or legs. The child with hypotonic CP appears floppy -- like a rag doll. Treatment may include casting and braces to prevent further loss of limb function, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, the use of augmentative communication devices, and the use of medications of botox injections to treat spasticity.

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