• Lidija Dimitrijević University of Niš, Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Center Niš



cerebral palsy, disability, children, physiotherapy intervention


Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in childhood, with prevalence in the general population of 1.5 to 3.0 cases per 1000 live birth. The complete causal pathway to CP is unclear in approximately 80% of cases, but risk factors can often be identified from history of conception, pregnancy, birth, or post-neonatal period. CP is not just a physical disability, so comorbidities are commonly present. It is not only the physical development that is at risk, but also the optimal development of children with CP as a whole, including their psychological, social, emotional and cognitive development. CP impacts not only the child, but also the whole family, in a complex, long-term and multi-factorial manner. Historically, the diagnosis has been made between the ages of 12 and 24 months, but now it can be made before 6 months corrected age. Early diagnosis includes neuroimaging, neurological and motor assessments. Early diagnosis is crucial for immediate referral to specific early intervention, which is very important for optimizing infant`s motor and cognitive plasticity, as well as for preventing secondary complications. CP is a life-long condition, and the treatment is long-lasting. Physical therapy takes a central place in managing CP. It focuses on function, movement, and optimal use of the child`s potential.



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