Other medical conditions along with cerebral palsy

Other medical conditions often occur along with cerebral palsy (CP), including:

  • Mental retardation . This is most common in people who have total body cerebral palsy, which affects the entire body to some degree, or in people who also have seizures. Sometimes the mental retardation has a greater impact on a person's life than cerebral palsy. Mild degrees of mental retardation or learning disabilities may be diagnosed in individuals before the cerebral palsy is recognized.
  • 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 problems reading.
  • Seizures. Many people with cerebral palsy have seizures, most commonly people with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy (in which the arm and leg on the same side of the body are affected) and total body cerebral palsy. 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 strabismus, nystagmus, 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 (such as rubella) before birth or in people who have dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

Last Updated: October 14, 2008

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