Cerebral Palsy, also known as CP, is not a disease, it is a term used to describe a range of conditions that cause motor impairment. Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that is caused by a brain injury or malformation that occurs when the child’s brain is under development. It is due to brain damage, before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Cerebral Palsy disrupts the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance. Cerebral refers to the brain, while palsy refers to the impairment of motor function. It affects the cerebral cortex, which is the motor area directing movement. Cerebral Palsy disturbs body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, reflex, balance, and posture. It causes activity limitations. However, every case is unique to the individual. One could have complete paralysis while the other has partial paralysis. One might need assistance at all times, while the other needs only little assistance. This depends on the type of injury and the time at which it happened. It is non-life-threatening and non-progressive. There are four main classifications of Cerebral Palsy: Spastic, Dyskinetic, Ataxic and Mixed. What causes Cerebral Palsy? An abnormality or disruption in the development of the child’s brain before he or she is born can lead to Cerebral Palsy. It can be a result of two occurrences. The cerebral cortex was not developed normally during fetus growth or the child’s brain was injured in some way before, during, or after birth. In either case, the damage is non reversible and cannot be repaired. The disabilities that result are permanent. The damage is not known most of the time. However, factors that can lead to problems with brain development are gene mutations, maternal infections, fetal stroke, or lack of oxygen. Mutations in the genes that control brain maturity keeps the brain from normal augmentation. Maternal infections such as fevers and physically or emotional trauma can cause unhealthy conditions in the womb and put the fetus’s nervous system at risk. Brain bleeding (intracranial hemorrhage) can cause a fetal stroke from clotted or broken blood vessels. A lack of oxygen to the brain is caused by an interruption in breathing or poor oxygen supply during difficult labor and delivery. During infancy, a traumatic head injury from or infection that causes inflammation in or around the brain can lead to Cerebral Palsy. Some children develop Cerebral Palsy as a result of medical negligence and malpractice. Also, premature babies, low-weight babies, and multiple births such as twins and triplets have a higher chance of having Cerebral Palsy.What are the signs and symptoms? The signs of Cerebral Palsy usually appear in during the first few months of a child’s life. Infants with Cerebral Palsy will have developmental delay where they are slow to roll over, sit, crawl, stand, or walk. Delays in these developmental milestones are the most apparent signs of one having Cerebral Palsy. During infancy, he or she will have abnormal muscle tone causing them to appear relaxed and floppy or stiff and rigid. They may also favor one side of their body over the other and their posture tends to be unusual. However, these are only signs that occur during infancy; Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed when a child is in his or her toddler years. The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy are different in every individual. The type of impairment will vary from one to another. It can affect arms, legs, and face, one limb, or several limbs. Physically, one may experience exaggerated reflexes, stiff muscles, lack of coordination, involuntary movement, tremors, seizures, involuntary movements, or spasms. One may also have difficulting speaking, causing him or her to stutter or drool. Other complications include slow learning and vision and hearing impairment. These symptoms are long term, not temporary. What are the treatments?Most children are diagnosed within the first two years of life, but if the conditions are mild, then they are diagnosed around the age of five. Doctors will evaluate a child on their motor skills. They will monitor the child’s development, growth, muscle tone, hearing, vision, and posture, among other factors that might be a sign of Cerebral Palsy. The impairment is manageable; there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, however there are treatments. The treatment improves a child’s capabilities, nurturing his or her development so that he or she can live independently as possible. They can improve their motor skills with different types of therapy, medications, surgery, and assistive technology. As soon as Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed, the child can start therapy to help with movement, speech, hearing, and also emotional development. Medications can be taken to relieve severe muscle pain and stiffness. Surgery can be done to repair hip dislocations and scoliosis. Assistive technology, such as wheelchairs and communication devices can be used to improve their capabilities. Each case is different, therefore no standard treatment is going to work for everyone. “A Diagnostic Approach for Cerebral Palsy in the Genomic Era”Since Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common congenital disorders of childhood, it can be misdiagnosed. Therefore, magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI has been used to detect any neurogenetic disorders and provide a diagnosis. These neurogenetic disorders can masquerade as Cerebral Palsy. An accurate diagnosis of these masquerades and their differences compared to Cerebral Palsy is crucial regarding therapy, prognosis, and family counseling. Neuroimaging (brain MRI) is used to evaluate the child with suspected Cerebral Palsy, explaining the timing of the injury and how and why it occurred. Having a family health history and information regarding general health background of relatives are also important parts of the diagnosis. A three generation pedigree is constructed for each patient and is used for evaluation. Examinations and family history are the first steps of determining if a child has Cerebral Palsy. Brain MRI’s are used to further focus on the specific disorder. “The Cerebral Palsy Research Registry: Development and Progress Toward National Collaboration in the United States”The most common type of neurodevelopmental motor disability in children is Cerebral Palsy. Approximately 1 in 278 infants are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy each year in the United States. The Cerebral Palsy Research Registry was created to fill the gap between population and clinical-based cerebral palsy registries. It explores, encourages, and executes Cerebral Palsy research by connecting people with the condition and their families to a network of researchers. The research registry collects information on people with Cerebral Palsy for their database and to facilitate research about the condition. This all started in 2006, and it expanded from there on out. It contributes knowledge to those who want to learn more about Cerebral Palsy. This research registry promotes understanding and identifies barriers for individuals with Cerebral Palsy along with their families. The Cerebral Palsy Research Registry functions on participants, leading researchers to study and conclude data.