What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a non-progressive neuromuscular disorder that disrupts a person’s ability to move, sit, stand, walk, talk and use their hands. The severity of the movement disorder and the type of movement difficulties can vary greatly. Some individuals experience only mild difficulties with balance, walking and fine motor skills, while individuals at the other extreme are completely trapped in their own bodies, fighting rigid limbs, and unable to speak or swallow. Most people with CP have normal intelligence. Two famous individuals known to have lived with CP were Winston Churchill and Julius Caesar.
Cerebral Palsy is Increasing in the U.S.
Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common neuromuscular disabilities in the United States, affecting at least 800,000 children, adolescents and adults. A study published in March of 2008 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the rates of CP are rising and appear to have doubled since 1970s.
CP Research is Under Funded
Funding for cerebral palsy research remains low. National research funding is much less than for diseases that affect fewer people. Occurring in 3.6 per 1000 births, CP is the most common childhood physical disability.
There is no cure for CP. Little research has been directed to discovering the kinds of brain injuries that cause CP (which might lead to prevention) or long term treatments to help improve motor function for individuals with CP. Remember that CP not only affects the individual, but also their families. Your donations can make a difference!
You can find more facts about Cerebral Palsy from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and The Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation.