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World Cerebral Palsy Day 2023: Seven myths and facts related to the congenital disorder

Children and adults experience this complex condition differently, with varying degrees of severity. Despite being a permanent condition, it does not worsen over time, and individuals with cerebral palsy can lead normal and healthy lives through effective management.

Written By: Kristina Das @https://twitter.com/KristinaDas2 New Delhi Published on: October 06, 2023 18:52 IST
world cerebral palsy day 2023
Image Source : FREEPIK These are a few myths and facts related to cerebral palsy.

Despite being a prevalent childhood congenital disorder worldwide, cerebral palsy (CP) is frequently misunderstood, leading to numerous misconceptions and misinformation. Consequently, families grappling with a CP diagnosis often face unnecessary stress due to these falsehoods. In the below article, Dr Chhya Vaja, Internal Medicine Expert, at Apollo Spectra Mumbai, has busted some myths surrounding cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy (CP)  is a prevalent physical disability in childhood, encompassing a range of disorders that hinder movement and posture. Typically, it arises from brain damage occurring in utero or shortly after delivery. Cerebral pertains to the brain, while palsy signifies impaired muscle control. Children and adults experience this complex condition differently, with varying degrees of severity. Despite being a permanent condition, it does not worsen over time, and individuals with CP can lead normal and healthy lives through effective management. However, there is still a lack of awareness regarding this condition. Apart from this, there are also certain myths associated with this condition.

Dispelling the myths regarding cerebral palsy

Myth #1: Those with cerebral palsy are intellectually disabled.

Fact: Cerebral palsy primarily impacts movement and posture, and only a few with the condition have an intellectual disability. The severity of intellectual disability can vary from mild to severe.

Myth #2: People with cerebral palsy are unable to communicate verbally.

Fact: Only some people with cerebral palsy are unable to speak. However, this does not mean they cannot communicate effectively. Through methods such as arranging pictures in books or utilizing eye-gaze control technology, people living with cerebral palsy can convey their needs and desires.

Myth #3: Those with cerebral palsy have shorter lifespans.

Fact: Most people with cerebral palsy are healthy and can expect to live as long as the average person in the general population.

Myth #4: Children with cerebral palsy have a poor quality of life.

Fact: The majority of children with cerebral palsy are healthy and lead fulfilling lives.

Myth #5: People with cerebral palsy cannot have children.

Fact: There is no evidence confirming that cerebral palsy affects fertility. Additionally, since it is not considered hereditary, the likelihood of a woman with cerebral palsy having a child also affected by the condition is no different from that of any other individual.

Myth #6: Cerebral palsy worsens over time.

Fact: It is a common misconception that cerebral palsy deteriorates as one ages. However, the truth is that while the condition itself remains permanent, its severity does not escalate with time. Nonetheless, similar to anyone growing older, those with cerebral palsy may experience age-related symptoms like heightened muscle rigidity and other typical issues associated with ageing.

Myth #7: Cerebral palsy runs in families.

Fact: The role of genetics in the development of CP is still unclear and no specific genetic disorder has been identified as the cause. Thus, CP is not inherited from parents with the condition, and having one child diagnosed with CP does not imply that subsequent children will also have it.

ALSO READ: World Cerebral Palsy Day 2023: Know how sleep disorder results from cerebral palsy

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