Children with cerebral palsy live far longer than thought, researchers have finally discovered. Although it is the most common cause of severe physical disability in children, few surveys have ever looked into life expectancy.
A study group based at the University of Liverpool has discovered that victims could live for at least 20 years unless they are severely disabled.
This discovery has important implications for education, social services and health care, including screening procedures.
Their study group included 1,251 children with cerebral palsy born in the Liverpool area between 1966 and 1984. Of those, 99 per cent who had no severe disabilities lived for at least 20 years, although this fell to just 50 per cent among the severely disabled.
!ABMJ, 13 August 1994.