Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy

How long can you live with cerebral palsy?

The average life expectancy for children with CP can range from around 25 years to around 70 years (or that of an unaffected person), depending on the severity of the CP diagnosis. This chart from the US National Library of Medicine is a good illustration of these survival curves.

Do you die from cerebral palsy?

Similar to autoimmune diseases like AIDS, a person does not die from cerebral palsy, but from the complications that arise from severe cases.

Does cerebral palsy get worse with age?

Cerebral palsy does not get worse with age, but the symptoms may change over time.

Cerebral palsy disabilities

Disabilities that occur in children with CP are caused by associated disorders that are typically coexistent with CP, such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Vision impairment
  • Cognitive disability
  • Eating difficulties
  • Inability to walk


If your child suddenly comes up with a problem, blaming your doctor is common because the doctor had a responsibility to protect your child. You may blame yourself wondering if you had gone to a different hospital if it may have changed things. While your distrust of doctors might even be for good reasons, you should understand how cerebral palsy doctors do their best to give you the best results. Most of them are experienced professionals and not all cases of CP could have been avoided.

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Rae S, Editor

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Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Article Citations

  1. US National Library of Medicine
  2. CDC