Cerebral Palsy: Other Medical Problems - Topic Overview
The specific effects of cerebral palsy (CP) on a person depend on its type and severity, the level of mental impairment, and whether other health problems are present or other complications develop.
Other health problems
Health problems that may occur along with CP include:
- Seizures. Many people with
cerebral palsy have seizures, most commonly people with spastic hemiplegic
CP (in which the arm and leg on the same side of the body are
affected) and total body CP. Children with CP usually have their
first seizure between the ages of 2 and 6 years.
- Vision problems. People with cerebral palsy commonly have
vision problems stemming from problems with the muscles that control their eye
movements. The vision problems include
amblyopia, and being nearsighted.
- Hearing loss. Hearing problems are common with cerebral palsy.
They are more likely to occur in people whose CP was caused by viral infection
rubella) before birth or in people who have dyskinetic CP.
- Speech problems. Some people with cerebral palsy may have
difficulty speaking because of problems moving their tongues and vocal cords.
They also may have problems expressing themselves with words and/or have
- Intellectual disability. This occurs in some people who have CP. It is most common
in people who have total body CP, which affects the entire body to
some degree, or in people who also have seizures. Sometimes the disability has a greater impact on a person's life than cerebral palsy. Mild
degrees of intellectual disability or learning disabilities may be detected in
individuals before the cerebral palsy is noticed.