CP is not a
progressive disorder (meaning the brain damage neither improves nor
worsens), but the symptoms can become more severe over time due to
subdural damage. A person with the disorder may improve somewhat during
childhood if he or she receives extensive care from specialists, but
once bones and musculature become more established, orthopedic surgery
may be required for fundamental improvement. People who have CP tend to
develop arthritis at a younger age than normal because of the pressure
placed on joints by excessively toned and stiff muscles.
The full intellectual potential of a child born
with CP will often not be known until the child starts school. People
with CP are more likely to have some type of
disability, but this is not related to a person's intellect or IQ
level. Intellectual level among people with CP varies from genius to
intellectually impaired, as it does in the general population, and
experts have stated that it is important to not underestimate a person
with CP's capabilities and to give them every opportunity to learn.
The ability to live independently with CP varies
widely depending on the severity of each case. Some individuals with CP
will require personal assistant services for all activities of daily
living. Others can lead semi-independent lives, needing support only for
certain activities. Still others can live in complete independence. The
need for personal assistance often changes with increasing age and
associated functional decline. However, in most cases persons with CP
can expect to have a normal life expectancy; survival has been shown to
be associated with the ability to ambulate, roll, and self-feed.
As the condition does not directly affect reproductive function, some
persons with CP have children and parent successfully.
OMIM, only 2% of cases
of CP are inherited (with
decarboxylase-1 as one known enzyme involved.)
There is no evidence of an increased chance of a person with CP having a
child with CP.
The common signs and symptoms associated with CP
can have a significant impact on participation in occupations.
Occupation is a term used in occupational therapy that refers to all
activities a person does throughout their day. These activities may be
grouped into the categories of self-care, productivity and leisure
activities. Impairments related to CP can impact these activities. For
example, children with motor impairments may also experience
difficulties moving around their home and community, such as
transportation, moving from room to room or transferring from wheelchair
Living with Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis Prognosis