Hemiplegia (hem-uh-PLEE-jee-uh) is paralysis that affects the motor function of
one side of the body.
More to Know
Hemiplegia is caused by damage to some part of the brain
that disrupts the connection between the brain and the muscles
on the affected side. Damage to the right side of the brain affects the left side
of the body, and damage to the left side of the brain affects the right side of the
Hemiplegia can be congenital (meaning the brain is damaged before, during, or shortly
after birth) or it can be the result of an injury or illness that damages the brain.
Hemiplegia can cause stiffness, weakness, and a lack of control in the affected side
of the body. It can be associated with a seizure
disorder, vision problems, and speech
Hemiplegia is a common side effect of strokes.
In children, it is often associated with cerebral
palsy. Treatment for hemiplegia focuses on controlling symptoms and retraining
the body to recover as much ability as possible through rehabilitation therapy.
Keep in Mind
There is no cure for hemiplegia, but it doesn't get worse over time, and undamaged
parts of the brain often can take over many of the functions of the damaged parts.
Treatment and therapy (physical, speech, or occupational) can help minimize the effects
of hemiplegia and help the affected side develop as fully as possible.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical