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Cerebral palsy
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Cerebral palsy

Contributors: Bo Hoon Lee MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Cerebral palsy (CP) encompasses a group of disorders resulting from brain injury to the developing fetal or infant brain (most commonly pre-, peri-, or postnatally), resulting in a nonprogressive dysfunction of muscle tone, posture, and/or movement.

CP is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder with diverse etiologies. It is typically classified into 4 main types:
  1. Spastic CP – This type is further subdivided into diplegic, hemiplegic, and quadriplegic depending on the distribution of motor abnormalities.
  2. Dyskinetic CP – This includes dystonia and choreoathetosis.
  3. Ataxic CP
  4. Mixed CP – Dyskinetic and spastic elements are both present.


G80.9 – Cerebral palsy, unspecified

128188000 – Cerebral Palsy

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Metabolic disorders
  • Genetic disorders
  • Movement disorders
  • Congenital myopathies
  • Spinal cord disorders (eg, tethered cord)
  • Other structural brain abnormalities

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Last Reviewed:07/07/2018
Last Updated:10/09/2022
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Cerebral palsy
A medical illustration showing key findings of Cerebral palsy : Impaired movements
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