Cerebral Palsy Research - USA

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About CP Fact Sheet
Diagnosis and Treatment Fact Sheet

Key Facts

  • Every hour a baby is born with cerebral palsy (CP).
  • It is the most common physical disability in childhood.
  • Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a group of disorders. It is a condition that is permanent, but not unchanging.
  • Cerebral palsy is a life-long physical disability due to damage of the developing brain.
  • In most cases, brain injury leading to cerebral palsy occurs during pregnancy.
  • Cerebral palsy, except in its mildest forms, can be evident in the first 12-18 months.
  • Motor disability can range from minimal to profound, depending on the individual.
  • It can range from weakness in one hand, to an almost complete lack of voluntary movement requiring 24 hour care.
  • Children with cerebral palsy are likely to also have other impairments in addition to their motor disability.
  • Spastic hemiplegia, where one half of the body has difficulty with voluntary movement, is the most common presentation of cerebral palsy. Approximately 40% of people with CP have hemiplegia.
  • There is no known cure.

Statistics

  • 1 in 323 American babies is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
  • 1 in 2 is in chronic pain.
  • 1 in 2 has an intellectual impairment.
  • 1 in 3 cannot walk.
  • 1 in 3 has hip displacement.
  • 1 in 4 has epilepsy.
  • 1 in 4 has a behaviour disorder.
  • 1 in 5 cannot talk.
  • 1 in 5 is tube fed.
  • 1 in 5 has a sleep disorder.
  • 1 in 10 has a severe vision impairment.
  • 1 in 25 has a severe hearing impairment.
  • Of all children with cerebral palsy, 40% were born prematurely and 60% born at term.
  • Globally, approximately 17 million people have cerebral palsy.