What is Cerebral Palsy? The disease that took the lives of Satya Nadella and son Zain Nadella

The rare congenital condition is buzzing today as the son of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Zain, died after his long battle with Cerebral Palsy. Zain was treated for life and needed round the clock help and care. According to CDCP estimates , there are an average of 1 to 4 cases of Cerebral Palsy (CP) per 1000 live births worldwide. For India, the estimated average is 3 per 1000 live births according to NCBI datahowever, the agency notes that the actual figure could be higher as there are a high number of unreported cases in India.

What exactly is cerebral palsy?

Mayo Clinic defines Cerebral Palsy as a group of disorders that seriously impair mobility. The symptoms may appear after birth or during early childhood. In general, the disease causes movement disorders, spastic limbs, unusual postures, involuntary reflexes and movement, difficulty walking and even more, depending on the severity of the disease. Usually the patients with CP have great difficulty in swallowing, focusing on distant or near objects, imbalance in the eye muscles and sometimes a combination of all these factors.


The following symptoms generally occur in all patients (individually or in combination of conditions) with variables dependent on the severity of the disease.

Movement and coordination

Stiff muscles and spasticity are some of the most common mobility problems in CP. Muscle tones also vary. They either become too stiff or too limp. This also causes a lack of muscle coordination and balance which causes jerky movements.

Speech and eating disorder

In general, the CP patients will have a delay in speech development. Due to the developmental problems of the muscles, the patient will have difficulty chewing and swallowing. They will also show excessive drooling.

Motor Development Disorder

A motor developmental disorder causes learning difficulties and intellectual disability in the CP patient. There will also be a slowdown in growth.

Other problems

Other problems revealed in CP may include epilepsy, hearing problems, abnormal pain sensitivity, bladder and bowel disorders, etc.


Some of the known causes of cerebral palsy include gene mutation, maternal infection, fetal stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, traumatic head injury, and suffocation.

There is no known cure for the disease. However, the patient would require lifelong medical attention and care.

SEE ALSO: Zain, son of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, dies of cerebral palsy

Cover image: Sea news

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