Spastic Diplegia — Scope | Disability forum
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Spastic Diplegia

I was wondering if you can have just Spastic Diplegia without having CP ?? I have posted back around March 4th and Beth answered my question, but Im still kinda confused... I don't know if you can see my last post,I will try to make it short, my brother has been diagnosed with SD which I understand that is just a symptom of CP not an actual diagnoses.. The doctor does not say he has CP, and this all just developed in the last year in a half, losing his balance, and now walking with a cane, he has been to at least 5 doctors, tons of blood work and now two MRI which his new neurologist has ordered to compare the two MRI's to see if any changes within the last year, just found out no changes.. I also read you cannot develop CP or SD as an adult.. He has never ever had problems with walking or balance ever, When in his 40's would go hiking with no problems.. we are just stumped, and seem's the doctors are also.. I was wondering if anyone has heard of anything like this, or is it possible he does have CP... Thank you..


  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering
    Spastic -refers to an alteration in muscle tone, colloquially referred to as an unusual "tightness", stiffness, or "pull" of muscles.

    Diplegia - refers to paralysis affecting symmetrical parts of the body. This should not be confused with hemiplegia which refers to spasticity restricted to one side of the body, or quadriplegia which requires the involvement of all four limbs but not necessarily symmetrical. The term diplegia can refer to any bodily area, such as the face, arms, or legs.

    By far the most common cause of Spastic Diplegia is effecting the legs is Cerebral Palsy (cp), so the terms often get linked together. However paralysis of the legs may also be caused by injury or disease of the central nervous system.

    By definition cp results from damage or malformation of the immature brain, generally speaking this means the damage occurred before the age of 5 years. Typically the average age of diagnosis for cp is 18 months of age, there are people who receive a later diagnosis but this would still normally occur during childhood. Over the years I have encountered people who have been diagnosed with cp as older adults but in almost every case they had been showing some symptoms since childhood. To been diagnosed with cp as an older adult without ever having shown any symptoms previously would be extremely unusual.

    Unfortunately, there are some people who develop neurological symptoms and never get a full diagnosis or explanation of why it has happened despite having many tests.

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at:


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