Cerebral Palsy - Prevention

The specific cause of cerebral palsy is usually not known, so prevention is difficult or impossible. Difficulties with the birth process itself are no longer thought to be a major risk factor for CP. Instead, problems with normal development before birth seem to be the most common cause of CP. Until these problems are better understood, prevention will be difficult.

Ironically, better health care may actually contribute to an increase in the number of cerebral palsy cases. Doctors have learned to keep premature babies alive more effectively, but these babies are at high risk for the disorder.

The best hope for reducing the risk of cerebral palsy appears to be for pregnant women to follow good health practices. These practices include a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and prompt treatment for infections.

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