11 doctors weighed in:

Is cerebral palsy the result of “birth injury?” how is different from a “birth defect”?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral
4 doctors agree

In brief: Cerebral palsy is a

Group of disorders of impaired motor functions described by limitations of mobility & hand use.
Fetal brain malformations or ?ed blood flow/oxygen can occur from the 3rd week of gestation till term, especially near the end of the 2nd trimester. Asphyxia during labor & delivery or in the first years of life accounts for ~ 10 of cases, in whom hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is diagnosed.

In brief: Cerebral palsy is a

Group of disorders of impaired motor functions described by limitations of mobility & hand use.
Fetal brain malformations or ?ed blood flow/oxygen can occur from the 3rd week of gestation till term, especially near the end of the 2nd trimester. Asphyxia during labor & delivery or in the first years of life accounts for ~ 10 of cases, in whom hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is diagnosed.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
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Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology
4 doctors agree

In brief: See below

Cerebral palsy can be caused by random genetic mutation before the birth, maternal infection during pregnancy, fetal stroke during pregnancy, or a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery.
This is why the baby is constantly monitored during labor to make sure that they are safe and doing well. A birth defect is usually a genetic abnormality.

In brief: See below

Cerebral palsy can be caused by random genetic mutation before the birth, maternal infection during pregnancy, fetal stroke during pregnancy, or a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery.
This is why the baby is constantly monitored during labor to make sure that they are safe and doing well. A birth defect is usually a genetic abnormality.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Dr. Richard Pollard
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1 comment
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, viruses, & other toxins also can cause atypical fetal brain development (birth defect) from 3 wks. on , with CP.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not necessarily/lots

CP results from injury to the developing brain anytime from pregnancy to the 3rd birthday.
Studies published in the early 80's showed most CP kids had normal pregnancy/labor/delivery& first 3yrs.Birth injury implicated in some. A birth defect involves a malformation like cleft palate or distruction like amnionic band amputation of fingers. Pregnancy involves variable risk.

In brief: Not necessarily/lots

CP results from injury to the developing brain anytime from pregnancy to the 3rd birthday.
Studies published in the early 80's showed most CP kids had normal pregnancy/labor/delivery& first 3yrs.Birth injury implicated in some. A birth defect involves a malformation like cleft palate or distruction like amnionic band amputation of fingers. Pregnancy involves variable risk.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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1 comment
Dr. Johanna Fricke
A malformatiin of the brain can start as early as 3 weeks' gestation,; periventricular leukomalacia most likely late 2nd trimester
Dr. William Goldie
Pediatrics - Neurology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Complex question

Cerebral palsy is a description of static dysfunction of muscle control due to brain disorder. About 50% are of unknown cause.
About 30% are due to definable developmental defects of the brain. Less than 20% can be associated with birth injury. Birth defects affect 2 to 3% of all children. Most are of heart, kidney, gut, limbs, lip, etc. Defects of the brain may result in cerebral palsy.

In brief: Complex question

Cerebral palsy is a description of static dysfunction of muscle control due to brain disorder. About 50% are of unknown cause.
About 30% are due to definable developmental defects of the brain. Less than 20% can be associated with birth injury. Birth defects affect 2 to 3% of all children. Most are of heart, kidney, gut, limbs, lip, etc. Defects of the brain may result in cerebral palsy.
Dr. William Goldie
Dr. William Goldie
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2 comments
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Latest studies show < 10% due to problems during labor & delivery. PVL usually from drops in oxygen/blood flow late 2nd trimester
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Latest studies show < 10% due to problems during labor & delivery. PVL usually from drops in oxygen/blood flow late 2nd trimester
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