What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a devastating condition where loss or impairment of motor functions occur as a cause of brain damage which occurs prior to birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Most individuals are born with CP, however some acquire it later.
CP affects muscles and a person's ability to control them. Muscles can contract too much, too little, or all at the same time. Limbs can be stiff and forced into painful, awkward positions. Fluctuating muscle contractions can make limbs tremble, shake, or writhe.
Balance, posture, and coordination can also be affected by cerebral palsy. Tasks such as walking, sitting, or tying shoes may be difficult for some, while others might have difficulty grasping objects.
Other complications, such as intellectual impairment, seizures, and vision or hearing impairment also commonly accompany cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is…
With the exception of children born with a severe case, cerebral palsy is considered to be a non-life-threatening condition. Most children with cerebral palsy are expected to live well into adulthood.
Cerebral palsy is damage to the brain that cannot currently be fixed. Treatment and therapy help manage effects on the body.
The brain lesion is the result of a one-time brain injury and will not produce further degeneration of the brain.
The injury and damage to the brain is permanent. The brain does not “heal” as other parts of the body might. Because of this, the cerebral palsy itself will not change for better or worse during a person’s lifetime. On the other hand, associative conditions may improve or worsen over time.
not contagious; it is not communicable
In the majority of cases, cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain. Brain damage is not spread through human contact. However, a person can intentionally or unintentionally increase the likelihood a child will develop cerebral palsy through abuse, accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, or the spread of a bacterial or viral infection.
The impairment caused by cerebral palsy is manageable. In other words, treatment, therapy, surgery, medications and assistive technology can help maximize independence, reduce barriers, increase inclusion and thus lead to an enhanced quality-of-life.
The effects of cerebral palsy are long-term, not temporary. An individual diagnosed with cerebral palsy will have the condition for their entire life.
Ohio Elks & CP
Every year Ohio Elks lodges around the State raise tens of thousands of dollars to aid CP Treatment Centers who help patients and their families manage this condition. If you would like to help, please contact the Berea Elks for more information.