Cerebral Palsy: A Lifelong Challenge Asks for Early Intervention

Christos P Panteliadis 1, *, Christian Hagel 2, Dieter Karch 3, Karl Heinemann 3
1 Paediatric, Division of Paediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
2 Institute of Neuropathology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
3 Clinic of Paediatric Neurology and Social Paediatrics, Children Centre Maulbronn, Germany

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© Panteliadis et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Paediatric, Division of Paediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Avdella 10, 55131 Thessaloniki, Greece; Tel: 00302310446482; E-mail:


One of the oldest and probably well-known examples of cerebral palsy is the mummy of the Pharaoh Siptah about 1196–1190 B.C., and a letter from Hippocrates (460–390 B.C.). Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common congenital or acquired neurological impairments in paediatric patients, and refers to a group of children with motor disability and related functional defects. The visible core of CP is characterized by abnormal coordination of movements and/or muscle tone which manifest very early in the development. Resulting from pre- or perinatal brain damage CP is not a progressive condition per se. However, without systematic medical and physiotherapeutic support the dystonia leads to muscle contractions and to deterioration of the handicap. Here we review the three general spastic manifestations of CP hemiplegia, diplegia and tetraplegia, describe the diagnostic procedures and delineate a time schedule for an early intervention.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy, early diagnosis, early intervention.