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Paralysis resulting from abnormal development or damage to the brain before or soon after birth. Cases are of four main types: spastic, with spasms contracting the extremities and often also with intellectual disability and epilepsy; athetoid, with slow, changing spasms in the face, neck, and extremities, grimacing, and inarticulate speech (dysarthria); ataxic, with poor coordination, muscle weakness, an unsteady gait, and difficulty performing rapid or fine movements; and mixed, in which symptoms of two or more types are present.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cerebral palsy, visit Britannica.com.