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Cerebral palsy

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CEREBRAL PALSY

What is Cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy refers to a distinct group of conditions that affects a persons movement and coordination. It is caused by a problem(s) in the brain which can occur before, after or even during birth. Symptoms usually become apparent in a child’s first three years of life and they will experience lifelong difficulties.

Around 2,000 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy every year in the UK.

What the future holds for these babies is sadly often unknown as the severity of symptoms associated with cerebral palsy varies so greatly from one child to another.

We know they will experience lifelong difficulties with movement and coordination, but parents are often keen to know exactly how their own child will be affected – whether they’ll be able to walk and live independently during adulthood.

Unfortunately, making predictions like this is difficult at present, leaving many families with uncertainty.

Action is determined to help, which is why we’re funding vital research into cerebral palsy that might one day provide answers.

Dr Adam Shortland, Guy’s Hospital, London:

At the moment, we use X-rays to screen for hip problems in children with cerebral palsy. Though beneficial, having repeated X-rays exposes children to radiation. We hope to develop a safe new technique that can be used regularly to spot early hip problems”

Our brave little boy

Tom was just a baby when he was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

He finds it extremely hard to control his arms and legs, has a lack of balance and suffers from muscle stiffness and weakness. But he is a brave and funny little boy who does not let cerebral palsy define him.

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