March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month! Do you know a child or teenager who has cerebral palsy or CP? If so, how much do you really know about this condition?
CP is a group of neurologic disorders affecting how the brain communicates with muscles, often causing lifelong challenges with movement, strength, and balance. It is not uncommon for those with CP to have other neurological conditions coexist alongside it, usually autism and epilepsy.
In most instances, CP is a congenital condition, meaning it is present at birth. Rare cases can develop after birth, sometimes due to a severe brain injury sustained during delivery or early infancy. There are also many different types of CP.
According to Child Neurology Consultants’ board-certified pediatric neurologist, and specialist in CP, Dr. Jinfon Ong, “most children with CP have what is known as spastic CP, accounting for about 80% of all patients, which makes their muscles stiff and difficult to control.”
What are some other lesser-known facts about Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
- CP is the most common motor disability in children. About 1 in 345 kids has been identified with CP according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
- CP is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls.
- Despite its physical challenges, more than half of all children with CP can walk independently on their own.
How is CP treated?
While there is no cure for CP, there are many treatment options available to treat spasticity by easing muscle stiffness and contributing to better movement and balance. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy also go a long way in helping those with CP to lead full, active, and independent lives.
Child Neurology Consultants is proud to partner with many local organizations that support children and families with CP including CPATH, Cerebral Palsy Awareness Transition Hope. Dr. Ong currently serves on its Board of Directors, and countless patients of our practice have enjoyed the community they provide through their regular social events, camps, and CPALS program.
In addition to cerebral palsy, Child Neurology Consultants of Austin has experience treating a wide range of neurological disorders in children and teenagers from 0 to 21 years old. For an appointment with one of our specialists, or to learn more about our services, please contact us here.