Children with cerebral palsy (CP) frequently grow poorly, compared with their typically-developing peers. Moreover, as children with CP age, their growth diverges further and further from that of typical children. The reasons for poor growth are multi-factorial and include nutritional, hormonal, physical, and neurological causes. Nevertheless, it appears that much of the poor growth is related to acute and chronic malnutrition at various points across the lifespan. The malnutrition is largely due to inefficient and dysfunctional feeding. While remediable to some extent, this dysfunctional feeding often cannot be overcome. Consequently, in children with (usually severe) CP, malnutrition is often treated by bypassing the dysfunctional oral feeding through the use of a gastrostomy.
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