About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. “Cerebral” refers to the brain, while “palsy” means the condition has to do with the muscles. One type of CP is dyskinetic cerebral palsy (DCP), which means a person has CP and experiences involuntary movements that are difficult to control.

These movements may be:Footnote1

  • Twisting and repetitive movements or postures – known as dystonia
  • Slow writhing movements – known as athetosis
  • Abrupt, jerky, or irregular movements – known as chorea

CP with involuntary movements occurs when part of the brain known as the basal ganglia are damaged. The basal ganglia are responsible for sending movement messages from the brain to the muscles, which means they regulate voluntary movements. Damage to this area of the brain results in uncontrollable movements and irregular posture.Footnote1

A child may be born with CP with involuntary movements, or the condition may develop later. Common causes of CP with involuntary movements include:Footnote2

  • Premature birth
  • Stroke
  • Birth complications
  • Inadequate blood supply in the brain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Untreated jaundice
  • Infection

Generally, CP with involuntary movements is diagnosed by evaluating the individual’s development, growth, muscle tone, reflexes, and movement.Footnote2   While there is currently no cure, clinical research studies such as the Kinect-DCP Study are important to developing potential future treatment options that may help with the involuntary movements associated with DCP. If you are interested in seeing if you or someone you care for may qualify for the Kinect-DCP Study, we invite you to click the button below to answer some questions and see if this study may be an option.

See who may qualify


  1. cparf.org/what-is-cerebral-palsy/types-of-cerebral-palsy/dyskinetic-cerebral-palsy-dyskinesia
  2. kidshealth.org/en/parents/dyskinetic-cp.html