What causes cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is often caused by problems that occur before birth, although occasionally injury or illness at the beginning of life can bring about the disorder. If you are ill during pregnancy, this can cause your baby to be born with cerebral palsy. Illnesses associated with the condition are chicken pox, syphilis, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus, so be sure to discuss these with your doctor if you are pregnant. Other conditions during pregnancy that interfere with the delivery of oxygen to the fetus's developing brain, such as a prenatal stroke, also cause cerebral palsy. Some illnesses, such as meningitis, that affect the child in infancy can also cause cerebral palsy.

Continue Learning about Cerebral Palsy

What do I need to know about caring for someone with cerebral palsy?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Someone with cerebral palsy needs to learn to be as independent as possible. If you are caring for s...
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How many people have cerebral palsy?
Riverside Center for NeurosciencesRiverside Center for Neurosciences
The United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Foundation estimates that nearly 800,000 children and adults in the ...
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Is cerebral palsy serious?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The severity of cerebral palsy can vary greatly. Some children may merely find the condition to caus...
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What is cerebral palsy?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Cerebral palsy, which affects about one in every five hundred newborns, is caused by some kind o...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.