How Do Cerebral Palsy And Multiple Sclerosis Differ?

Have you ever wondered how to spot the differences between Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis? While it may be hard to tell the two conditions apart at a glance, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis are very different conditions! In this post, we’ll talk about the similarities and differences between Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis and how to find help for either condition.

This information was compiled from government sources, educational non-profits, and medical experts.

Keep reading to learn how to tell Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis apart.

Multiple Sclerosis Nerves

Cerebral Palsy Fast Facts

Unfamiliar with Cerebral Palsy? These fast facts will quickly bring you up to speed:

Q: What is Cerebral Palsy? 

A: Cerebral Palsy is a broad group of permanent movement disorders.


Q: What causes Cerebral Palsy? 

A: Cerebral Palsy is often thought to be caused by an injury to the brain at or near the time of birth.


Q: How does Cerebral Palsy affect a person?

A: Cerebral Palsy can affect different areas of the body, including the arms, legs, and face. Children with CP tend to have difficulty controlling their muscles, their balance, their coordination, their mobility, and their posture.


Q: How serious is a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis? Is it fatal?

A: The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, the child may have a slight limp, or have difficulty with coordination in one arm. In severe cases, the child may be nearly completely immobile and may have trouble eating and breathing without assistance. 


Q: Can Cerebral Palsy be cured? 

A: No, there is no known cure for Cerebral Palsy. However, stem cell regenerative therapy shows promise for the future.


Q: Does Cerebral Palsy get worse over time? 

A: No, it is non-progressive, meaning it does not get worse over time. 


Q: Are there treatments that can help?

A: Yes, early intervention and specialized treatment plans may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, corrective surgery, and medical adaptive equipment. A good treatment plan can go a long way to improving the life of someone affected by CP!

Multiple Sclerosis Fast Facts

Just learning about Multiple Sclerosis? You’ve found the right place. Here are the basics you need to know:

Q: What is Multiple Sclerosis? 

A: Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the immune system that can affect the brain, spinal cord, and the central nervous system.


Q: What causes Multiple Sclerosis? 

A: Normally the body’s nerves are protected by myelin sheaths. For unknown reasons, sometimes the body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheaths, exposing the underlying nerves to damage. 


Q: How does Multiple Sclerosis affect a person?

A: Damage to the central nervous system can affect many functions, including: movement, vision, speech, coordination, and bladder function. 


Q: How serious is a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis? Is it fatal?

A: Most people with MS have what is known as a “relapsing-remitting” version of the disease, which means that the person will have periods of worsening conditions, followed by quiet periods of improvement or no worsening. In serious cases, known as “primary-progressive” MS, the condition steadily gets worse over time. MS is typically not fatal, but can severely impact one’s independence. 


Q: Can Multiple Sclerosis be cured? 

A: No, there is no known cure for MS, however there are treatments that can slow the progression of the disease and help alleviate symptoms.


Q: Does Multiple Sclerosis get worse over time? 

A: Yes, MS typically gets worse over time. However, for most people, proper treatment can slow or halt the progression of the disease.  


Q: Are there treatments that can help?

A: Yes, there are many medicines that can help slow MS, including injections, oral medications, and infusions, as well as medicines to treat the symptoms of MS during flare ups. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can also help treat the symptoms of MS. A good treatment plan can help manage and control MS and can significantly improve the life of a person affected by the condition!

What Are The Key Differences Between Cerebral Palsy And Multiple Sclerosis?

Now that you are armed with the facts, let’s review the key differences:

  • CP affects the body’s muscles, while MS affects the body’s central nervous system.
  • CP is thought to be caused primarily by birth injuries, while MS is caused by a dysfunction of the body’s immune system.
  • CP is a condition that starts at birth and lasts for a whole lifetime, while MS is a condition that can develop at any point in life. 
  • Both CP and MS are permanent, but CP is non-progressive, meaning that it does not get worse over time, while MS is progressive, meaning it can get worse over time.

With these differences in mind, there are also some similarities:

  • Both CP and MS can affect a person’s mobility and independence.
  • While there are no known cures for either condition, a person’s quality of life can be improved with either condition via a good treatment plan. 
  • Treatment options for both conditions including medication, therapy, and adaptive medical devices.
  • There are many great support communities for both conditions!

For additional resources on Cerebral Palsy, check out the complete guide at

For more information on Multiple Sclerosis, have a look at the sources below. 


Multiple sclerosis – Symptoms and causes. (2019). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 17 December 2019, from

What Is MS?. (2019). National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Retrieved 17 December 2019, from

Multiple sclerosis (MS): Types, symptoms, and causes. (2019). Medical News Today. Retrieved 17 December 2019, from

What Is Cerebral Palsy? | (2019). Retrieved 17 December 2019, from

Contact a Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Attorney

Getting help for a child with a birth injury can make a big difference. Early intervention and early treatment is often key to helping improve a child’s wellbeing. You must act quickly.

If you have questions about whether your child’s birth injury was caused by a preventable medical error, then our attorneys at Brown Trial Firm may be able to help.

Case Review at No Cost or Obligation

If you would like help investigating your child’s birth injury, please contact us. Our birth injury attorneys will be happy to give you a free case evaluation. We can also point you to great non-legal resources that can help you figure out your next steps.

Many birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Don’t wait, get help today. Call +1 (844) 232-9228, email us at [email protected], or use the live chat button for 24/7 assistance.

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