Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a set of neurological conditions that affect movement. It is the most common form of childhood disability. The condition makes it hard to move certain parts of the body. There are many degrees of severity. Because of damage to certain parts of the brain, voluntary or involuntary movements or both can be affected. Cerebral palsy is not contagious, it does not necessarily affect intelligence or cognitive ability, and it is not progressive, so it does not get worse with age. Some people find that symptoms improve over time. People with cerebral palsy tend to have a normal lifespan, and in many cases, a good quality of life can be expected. Muscle control takes place in a part of the brain called the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the upper part of the brain. Damage to the cerebrum before, during, or within 5 years of birth can cause cerebral palsy. An infant with cerebral palsy may have muscular and movement problems, including poor muscle tone. Muscle tone refers to a person's automatic ability to tighten and relax muscle when required.
Treatment depends entirely on individual needs. The aim is to help the child achieve as much independence as possible. Because cerebral palsy is non-progressive, it will not worsen as the individual ages.