Ask the Expert: Cerebral Palsy, Toe-Walking, and Spasticity: How to Help the Whole Child

Why treating the whole child with CP requires understanding the brain
BY CATHERINE MAZZOLA, MD Published: May 6, 2022

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood, according to Capute and Accardo’s Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Infancy and Childhood. Babies born prematurely, or with very low birth weight, are at higher risk of developing CP, as compared to normal birth weight babies delivered at term, according to TK.

The term “Cerebral Palsy” has Latin and Greek origins. The word “cerebral” comes from the Latin word for brain.  The word “palsy” comes from the Greek word for paralysis, which literally means “loosen,” from the word paralyein, and its roots para (beside) and lyein (to loosen or untie).  Children with cerebral palsy often have a muscle weakness or abnormality caused by brain injury.

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