Reading time is 2 mins


Turkey iHealth – cerebral palsy a disease of the muscle system, is most common, but the least understood, disability condition. It is known that there are 20 million people with cerebral palsy worldwide, and more than 5 thousand babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy in Turkey every year.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy (SP) refers to a group of disorders that affect muscle movement and coordination. In most cases, vision, hearing, and sensation are also affected.

Signs and symptoms appear in infancy or in preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movements associated with abnormal reflexes, laxity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unstable walking, or a combination of these.

People with cerebral palsy may have swallowing problems and muscle imbalance, where usually the eyes are not focused on the same object. People with cerebral palsy may experience decreased range of motion in various joints in their body due to muscle stiffness.

Abnormal brain development or an injury to the developing brain can cause cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

Signs and symptoms can vary greatly. Movement and coordination problems associated with cerebral palsy may include:

– Changes in muscle tone, for example muscle being too stiff or too flaccid

– Stiff muscle and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity).

– Muscles with normal reflexes (rigidity).

– Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia).

– Tremors or involuntary movements.

– Slow, writing movements (athetosis).

– Delays in the development of motor skills, such as loading on the arms, sitting alone or crawling.

– Giving preference to one side of the body, for example, lying down with only one hand or dragging one leg.

– Difficult walks, such as walking on tiptoe, a squat walk, a scissor-like walk that crosses the knees, a wide walk, or an asymmetrical walk.

– Problems with excessive falling or swallowing.

– Difficulty sucking or eating.

– Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking.

– Having difficulty with precise movements such as crayons or picking up spoons.

– Seizures.

The disability associated with cerebral palsy can be limited primarily to one limb or one side of the body, or it can affect the entire body. The brain disorder that causes cerebral palsy does not change over time, so the symptoms usually do not worsen with age. However muscle shortening and muscle stiffness can worsen if aggressive treatment is not taken.

Brain abnormalities associated with cerebral palsy can also contribute to other neurological problems. People with cerebral palsy may also have:

– Difficulty in seeing and hearing.

– Mental disability.

– Seizures.

– Abnormal touch or pain perceptions.

– Oral diseases.

– Mental health (psychiatric) conditions.

– Inability to urinate.

Causes of cerebral palsy

Abnormal brain development or injury to the developing brain can cause cerebral palsy. The damage affects the part of the brain that controls body movement, coordination and posture.

Brain damage usually occurs before birth, but it can also occur during childbirth or in the first years of life. In most cases, the exact cause of cerebral palsy is unknown. Some of the possible reasons include:

– Asphyxia neonatorum or lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and childbirth.

– Gene mutations that result in abnormal brain development.

– Severe jaundice in the baby.

– Maternal infections , such as German measles and herpes simplex.

– Brain infections such as encephalitis and meningitis.

– Intracranial hemorrhage or hemorrhage into the brain.

– Injuries caused by a traffic accident, fall or child abuse.