- cerebral palsy
- cerebral palsy n a disability resulting from damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth and outwardly manifested by muscular incoordination and speech disturbances see ataxic cerebral palsy, athetoid cerebral palsy, spastic cerebral palsycerebral palsied adj
* * *a disorder of movement and/or posture as a result of nonprogressive but permanent damage to the developing brain. This damage may occur before, during, or immediately after delivery and has many causes, including an inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain, low levels of glucose in the blood (hypoglycaemia), and infection. It is often associated with other problems, such as learning difficulties, hearing difficulties, poor speech, poor balance, and epilepsy. There are three main types of cerebral palsy: spastic, in which the limbs are difficult to control and which may affect the whole body (quadriplegic), one side of the body (hemiplegic), or both legs (diplegic); ataxic hypotonic, in which the main problem is poor balance and uncoordinated movements; and dyskinetic, in which there is involuntary movement of the limbs. Management requires a multidisciplinary approach, the main components of which are physiotherapy, speech therapy, educational assistance, and appropriate appliances.
* * *general name for a large group of persisting, nonprogressive motor disorders appearing in young children and resulting from brain damage caused by birth trauma or intrauterine pathology. The disorders are characterized by delayed or abnormal motor development, such as spastic paraplegia, hemiplegia, or tetraplegia, which is often accompanied by mental retardation, seizures, or ataxia. See also spastic paraplegia and Little disease.
Medical dictionary. 2011.