Cerebral Palsy and Spasticity

During your child's visit to the Child Neurology clinic at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, our doctors and other health professionals will evaluate your child. We will ask you about your child's medical history as well as your family medical history. If your child's pediatrician has provided medical records, we will review this information.

Be sure to tell your child's neurologist about medications your child is using, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements or herbal remedies.

Our doctors will check your child's motor skills and reflexes, and look for symptoms of cerebral palsy. We may conduct tests or procedures to rule out other conditions that could cause your child's movement problems.

Your child may need one or more specialized procedures that test for cerebral palsy:

  • Computed tomography (CT) uses X-rays and a computer to create an image of your child's brain.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produces images of your child's brain by using a magnetic field and radio waves instead of X-rays.

  • Ultrasound forms a picture of your child's brain called a sonogram by bouncing harmless sound waves off the brain.

  • An electroencephalogram (EEG) records electrical activity inside your child's brain.

  • Intelligence tests may be used to see if your child also has mental impairment.

  • Vision or hearing tests may be ordered if your child's neurologist suspects that he/she is experiencing problems with these senses.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Pediatric Brain Center

Child and Adolescent Neurology Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5A
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7596
Fax: (415) 353-2400
Appointment information

Neuro-Intensive Care Nursery (NICN)
1975 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-1565
Fax: (415) 353-1202