* CP is not communicable and does not worsen over time. However, secondary conditions due to CP can and often are progressive.
* 1 in 278 children have cerebral palsy. This number is configured from only three states: Georgia, Alabama, and Wisconsin.
Can you even begin to imagine the numbers if there was a national surveillance study?
* 75% of people with cerebral palsy have secondary diagnosis such as epilepsy, mental retardation, autism, hearing and vision loss.
* People with cerebral palsy are at higher risk for developing scoliosis, joint contractures, bone deformities, fractures, muscular atrophy and chronic pain.
* The average lifetime cost for just one person with cerebral palsy is estimated to be over $1,500,000 above and beyond the cost of living for an average citizen.
* The NIH invests over $28 billion annually in medical research. Cerebral palsy received $16 million in 2007. That equates to less than 0.05% of the annual NIH budget.
* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the prevalence of cerebral palsy in children is higher than childhood cancer, hearing and vision loss, spina bifida, hemophilia, fetal alcohol syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and similar to the prevalence of autistic disorder in 8 year old children. Yet, no comparable national surveillance study of cerebral palsy exists.
* There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy. In over 50 years, treatments for CP have not progressed much at all.
In fact, today, there remains little consensus among medical professionals regarding what causes CP or how best to treat it.
Why do 800,000 or more Americans have CP, and yet we don’t know much more about what causes it or how to prevent it than we did a half century ago?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Reaching for the Stars
National Institutes of Health