Hemiparesis is a lifelong neurological condition causing weakness or slight paralysis of one side of the body. The condition is a less severe form of hemiplegia, which causes complete paralysis of one side, but the two conditions are often mentioned together because of their similarities. An estimated one in 1,000 children is born with or develop hemiparesis or hemiplegia, about 70,000 children in the United States alone.
When one hemisphere of the brain is damaged, hemiparesis may result. The muscle weakness develops on only one side of the body, usually in the face and limbs. The condition can also cause other physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive impairments. Depending on the side of the brain that was damaged, a person's diagnosis might be more specific: right or left hemiparesis.
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