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Issues in Aging With Cerebral Palsy

Svien, Lana R. PT, PhD; Berg, Patti PT, MPT, MA; Stephenson, Christine SPT

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January-March 2008 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 26–40
doi: 10.1097/01.TGR.0000311404.24426.45

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common cause of disability that impacts a person across his or her life-span. In addition to aging-related diseases, decline in function in adulthood can be attributed to conditions secondary to the impairments associated with CP. There are substantial literature on unique health needs and impact of CP on children and fewer studies specifically investigating the health needs and impact of CP on the aging adult. The purpose of this article is to present current literature on the effects aging has on adults with CP. In addition, the article will discuss the importance of preventive healthcare and wellness and iterate the challenges of accessing appropriate healthcare and healthcare providers by adults with CP. Recommendations are provided encouraging service providers to plan interventions, services, and supports to improve the participation of adults with CP in a contemporary system of care.

From the Department of Physical Therapy, University of South Dakota, Vermillion.

Corresponding author: Lana R. Svien, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, University of South Dakota, 414 East Clark, Vermillion, SD 57069 (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.