Cerebral palsy: comprehensive review and update

Ann Saudi Med. Mar-Apr 2006;26(2):123-32. doi: 10.5144/0256-4947.2006.123.


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common pediatric disorder occurring in about 2 to 2.5 per 1000 live births. It is a chronic motor disorder resulting from a non-progressive (static) insult to the developing brain. CP is the clinical presentation of a wide variety of cerebral cortical or sub-cortical insults occurring during the first year of life. The commonest cause of CP remains unknown in 50% of the cases; prematurity remains the commonest risk factor. Children with CP suffer from multiple problems and potential disabilities such as mental retardation, epilepsy, feeding difficulties, and ophthalmologic and hearing impairments. Screening for these conditions should be part of the initial assessment. The child with CP is best cared for with an individualized treatment plan that provides a combination of interventions. This requires the provision of a number of family-centered services that make a difference in the lives of these children and their families. Management of spasticity can be challenging with a wide variety of possible therapeutic interventions. The treatment must be goal oriented, such as to assist with mobility, reduce or prevent contractures, improve positioning and hygiene, and provide comfort. Each member of the child's multidisciplinary team, including the child and both parents, should participate in the serial evaluations and treatment planning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / classification
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy
  • Child
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Hearing Loss / etiology
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Movement Disorders / etiology
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Prognosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / etiology