Cerebral palsy is a term that describes nonprogressive but sometimes changing disorders of movement and posture. These movement problems are due to problems in brain function that occur early in development. Cerebral palsy affects motion, muscle strength, balance, and coordination. These problems are first noted in infancy and continue into adult life. The muscles of speech, swallowing, and breathing may be involved. Intellectual disabilities (mental retardation) and seizures can also occur, but these problems are not always present. The September 1, 2010, issue of JAMA includes an article about cerebral palsy. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the October 4, 2006, issue of JAMA.