The Cerebral Palsy Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for children with cerebral palsy and related conditions such as developmental and learning problems, difficulties with coordination, positioning and mobility as well as seizures. The clinic, established and led by Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), has evolved into a multidisciplinary collaboration between PM&R, Neurology, and Developmental Pediatrics. Our clinic also works closely with Texas Children's Neurosurgery and Orthopedics services.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a broad term for a number of non-progressive motor syndromes that appear in infancy or early childhood. These disorders can permanently affect muscle tone and posture. While the neurological disorder is non-progressive, clinical symptoms can change over time with growth. Cerebral palsy has a wide range of clinical severity with some children only having mild coordination, strength or tone difficulties while others have significant limitations in independent mobility.
What causes cerebral palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is caused by a structural change in brain development that occurs before, during, or in the first few years after birth. There are many causes for cerebral palsy and in some cases a cause is not identified, but there may be risk factors.
How many children have cerebral palsy?
About two to three children out of every 1,000 have cerebral palsy.
Is there a cure?
Cerebral palsy cannot be cured, but with treatment, including therapy, tone management, assistive devices and specialized equipment, children can overcome developmental challenges, learn new skills, and improve their quality of life. Some children benefit from surgical interventions to reduce high muscle tone or to lengthen muscles and realign bones.
Patients may benefit from the following treatments:
- Nutritional counseling
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Medicines to control seizures, relax muscles with high tone and alleviate pain
- Surgery to reduce high muscle tone (spasticity or dystonia)
- Surgery to lengthen muscles, realign bones and to straighten the spine
- Braces and other orthotic devices
- Gait aids such as a walk or gait trainer and custom wheelchairs
- Communication aids such as computers with attached voice synthesizers
What makes Texas Children’s Cerebral Palsy Clinic unique?
This clinic provides patients and families with a comprehensive assessment by specialized physicians in a coordinated fashion and in one location. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology and Developmental Pediatrics physicians assist with clarification of diagnosis, treatment of associated conditions and schooling recommendations/community resources. Children who will benefit from surgical intervention are also assessed and referred to appropriate surgical specialists.