Causes of CP

babywspineWhile the definite cause is not known in some cases of cerebral palsy, any factor that causes low birth weight or premature birth increases the likelihood of a child being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Premature infants are at a higher risk of intra-cerebral hemorrhage, or  bleeding in the brain, which causes damage to the brain tissue. Less than 10% of cases of cerebral palsy are attributable to intra-partum asphyxia, or loss of oxygen during the birth process. Current technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed axial tomography (CAT scans) have shown that many cases of cerebral palsy are most likely prenatal in origin. Intra-uterine infection, which cannot be detected during pregnancy, has been suggested to play a role. Genetic factors in the mother, which may increase the likelihood of premature birth, and genetic abnormalities in the child, which may cause a multitude of physical and intellectual disabilities, may also result in a child be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Although the following factors are associated with cerebral palsy, having one or more of these factors does not necessarily predict that a child will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The factors associated with cerebral palsy include:

• Low birth weight
• Prematurity
• Multiple birth, such as twins or triplets
• Metabolic disorder
• An infection or damage to the placenta
• Rh or other blood factor incompatibility between mother and child leading to an abnormally high increase in bilirubin in the infant
• Brain malformation
• Maternal dehydration or poor nutrition during pregnancy
• Exposure to alcohol, drugs or other toxic substances during pregnancy
• Chromosomal abnormality
• Biochemical genetic disorder

Cerebral palsy can occur to an otherwise healthy child if there is an injury to the brain during early development. Examples of this include:

• Infections such as meningitis
• Brain injury following a fall, car accident or non-accidental trauma
• Near-drowning accident
• Poisoning
• Prolonged seizures
• Brain hemorrhage or stroke
• Any event which causes lack of oxygen to the brain





Stay Informed