CPRN Logo with a dark and light green ribbon next to the words Cerebral Palsy Research Network.
Terms Explanation
Cerebral Referring to the cerebrum, the front and upper part of the brain, one of the major areas responsible for the control of movement.
Palsy Palsy means paralysis, though paralysis by pure definition is not a feature of CP.
Group CP is not a single condition, unlike conditions such as type 1 diabetes. Rather, CP is a group of conditions. The location, timing, and type of brain injury vary, and the resulting effects of the brain injury are also varied. A simple blood test for glucose confirms a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. A genetic test confirms Down syndrome. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent single test for CP.
Permanent Refers to the fact that the brain injury remains for life: CP is a lifelong condition.
Disorders A disorder is a disruption in the usual orderly process. To meet the definition of CP, the disorder must cause activity limitation.
Posture The way a person holds their body when standing or sitting.
Activity limitation Activity is the execution of a task or action by an individual. Activity limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing activities. Walking with difficulty is an example of an activity limitation.
Non-progressive The brain injury does not worsen, but its effects can develop/evolve over time.
Developing fetal or infant brain The brain injury occurs in an immature, rather than a mature, brain. An injury to the fetal or infant brain happens before the brain is finished developing all of its neural connections.
Motor disorders Motor disorders are conditions affecting the development of movement and posture. The term motor impairment can also be used.
Are often accompanied by The motor problem is often associated with other problems.
Sensation, perception, cognition, communication, and behavior Sensation: Refers to the senses, i.e., vision, hearing, and others.   Perception: The ability to incorporate and interpret sensory and/or cognitive information.   Cognition: The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.   Communication: The imparting or exchanging of information.   Behavior: The way one acts or conducts oneself.
Epilepsy Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. A seizure is an abnormal electrical discharge in brain cells that disrupts normal activity, behavior, or movement. Seizures can vary in length and severity.
Secondary musculoskeletal problems Musculoskeletal refers to both the muscles and the skeleton, i.e., the muscles, bones, and joints. Musculoskeletal problems appear with time and growth, hence they are termed secondary problems or abnormalities. They develop as a consequence of the brain injury. People with CP may develop a variety of musculoskeletal problems, such as muscle/tendon contracture or bone torsion (twist).