The most common complication of cerebral palsy is muscle contracture, which generally occurs in children. As the bones grow, the muscles normally keep pace. In cerebral palsy, there's a tendency for sufferers not to use their weaker or less coordinated limbs, leading to muscle atrophy. This can prevent the muscle growing with the bone, which can cause the joint to become permanently flexed and paralyzed. Once this happens, surgery is usually required to fix it.
Symptoms don't generally get worse over time, as the underlying disease isn't progressive. Atrophy, however, can worsen muscular symptoms and, in children, prevent proper growth. Weaker, less coordinated limbs often end up withered or undersized.
There's a serious lack of research on the effects of cerebral palsy in older adults. Some doctors believe that these patients may deteriorate faster after middle age, but for the moment there's no evidence one way or the other, nor are there any statistics on life expectancy for people with this disease. It's certainly not considered a fatal condition.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Not the declining affects on my body, but cerebral palsy in general. I have worked with so many kids having CP who are incredible in so many ways, who tend to be positive and determined despite their disability... that sometimes I'm almost honored to be 'one of them'. Not sure where this is coming from... maybe because I just read this in an article and wanted people to know being an adult with CP is not so bad... at least not at age 38.: