Medical Management of Spasticity in Children with Cerebral Palsy

  • Maura McManusEmail author
Living reference work entry


Spasticity is the most common motor disorder in cerebral palsy (CP). It is a component of the upper motor neuron syndrome. Spasticity is probably due to an imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory impulses in the spinal cord. In CP, there is believed to be a deficiency of descending impulses that typically stimulate the release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Although some spasticity may be necessary for function in children with neurologic impairment, it is often a problem that can be difficult to treat. Multiple approaches are available for treatment of spasticity in patients with CP including therapies, oral medications, chemodenervation, and intrathecal baclofen therapy. Orthopedic and neurosurgical procedures are also available. A multidisciplinary team should be involved in defining reasonable treatment goals including the patient, and family, physical and occupational therapists, nurses, physiatrist, neurologist, orthopedist, and neurosurgeon.


Spasticity Cerebral palsy Function Chemodenervation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nemours Alfred I Dupont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Freeman Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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