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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2010 Apr;12(2):116-21. doi: 10.1007/s11920-010-0096-8.

Psychiatric complications in cerebral palsy.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder of motor and posture impairment resulting from brain injury prior to completion of cerebral development. It affects 2 to 3 per 1000 individuals. CP is also associated with sensory, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional sequelae. Few systematic studies of psychiatric comorbidities in children and adolescents with CP have been conducted, as the main focus of concern has been on the physical disabilities. This has diverted attention from treatable psychiatric syndromes. Proper psychiatric evaluation of children with CP is an important task, as appropriate interventions can help them reach their full potential and enhance the quality of their lives and those of their families. We report the case of an individual with CP with behavioral and emotional symptoms to illustrate the diagnostic complexity involved. The case highlights the importance of engaging in a comprehensive diagnostic psychiatric evaluation process to assess and suggest treatment options for accompanying comorbid psychiatric conditions.

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