Endocrinology and Metabolism

Secondary muscle pathology and metabolic dysregulation in adults with cerebral palsy

Mark D. Peterson, Paul M. Gordon, Edward A. Hurvitz, Charles F. Burant


Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by an insult to or malformation of the developing brain which affects motor control centers and causes alterations in growth, development, and overall health throughout the life span. In addition to the disruption in development caused by the primary neurological insult, CP is associated with exaggerated sedentary behaviors and a hallmark accelerated progression of muscle pathology compared with typically developing children and adults. Factors such as excess adipose tissue deposition and altered partitioning, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation may increase the severity of muscle pathology throughout adulthood and lead to cardiometabolic disease risk and/or early mortality. We describe a model of exaggerated health risk represented in adults with CP and discuss the mechanisms and secondary consequences associated with chronic sedentary behavior, obesity, aging, and muscle spasticity. Moreover, we highlight novel evidence that implicates aberrant inflammation in CP as a potential mechanism linking both metabolic and cognitive dysregulation in a cyclical pattern.

  • insulin resistance
  • spasticity
  • inflammation
  • extracellular matrix
  • fibrosis
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