What causes cerebral palsy?

Abnormal brain development or injury to the developing brain can cause CP. The damage affects the part of the brain that controls body movement, coordination, and posture.

The brain damage usually occurs before birth, but it can also happen during birth or the first years of life. In most cases, the exact cause of CP isn’t known. Some of the possible causes include:

asphyxia neonatorum, or a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery
gene mutations that result in abnormal brain development
severe jaundice in the infant
maternal infections, such German measles and herpes simplex
brain infections, such as encephalitis and meningitis
intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding into the brain
head injuries as a result of a car accident, a fall, or child abuse

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