What Is CP?

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We care for patients with cerebral palsy in all life stages. To learn more about cerebral palsy treatment at UCLA Health, call 424-259-6593.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a developmental disorder of posture and movement. CP is the most common childhood disability in the United States, affecting an estimated 764,000 children and adults in the U.S.

What is the Main Cause of Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain occurring during fetal developmental, during or shortly after birth or during infancy. The damage to the brain cannot be repaired, however cerebral palsy is not progressive. The child with cerebral palsy will become an adolescent and later an adult with cerebral palsy.

Children with cerebral palsy laughing with their parents

Cerebral palsy is not a specific diagnosis with a specific cause. Rather, it is a description of a group of clinical features that occur when there is an injury to the developing brain.

Each person with cerebral palsy is unique. Depending on the location and extent of the injury, the clinical features may vary from barely imperceptible to severe. Cerebral palsy can affect movement, balance, speech, vision, and coordination. The damage to the brain may also result in intellectual impairment, seizures, and problems with learning, eating, and breathing.