Principles of Medical and Surgical Treatment of Cerebral Palsy

Neurol Clin. 2020 May;38(2):397-416. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2020.01.009.


Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of childhood motor disability, affecting 2 to 3/1000 children worldwide. Clinical abnormalities in tone, posture, and movement are the result of brain dysgenesis or injury early in life, and impairment varies in type, distribution, and in severity. The underlying brain disorder may also lead to other associated neurologic and systemic impairments. Variability in functional impairments, which can change during development, necessitates an individualized treatment plan. Treatment options are primarily symptomatic and directed toward optimizing independence, function, and/or ease of care-while limiting side effects. New promising disease-preventing and modifying treatments are emerging.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; Complex care; Management principles; Movement disorders.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't