• Is cerebral palsy hereditary?

Cerebral palsy can be hereditary, although medical experts believe that familial cerebral palsy is rare. Just 1 percent of all people with cerebral palsy have a sibling who also suffers from the disorder.

According to experts, cerebral palsy is most often caused by a series of events that injure the brain. The single most significant risk factor for cerebral palsy is premature birth. Other risk factors include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Prolonged oxygen deprivation during birth
  • Post-birth jaundice
  • Blood-clotting issues
  • Blood-type incompatibility between mother and child
  • Maternal infection

While risk factors alone do not cause cerebral palsy, they make the odds of developing the disorder more likely. For example, being born prematurely does not in and of itself cause cerebral palsy. Other issues that tend to accompany a premature birth put a child at higher risk.

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