Difference Between Bell's Palsy and Cerebral Palsy

In medicine, palsy describes dysfunction of movement. Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a range of conditions that permanently impair a person's ability to move. Bell's palsy is characterized by paralysis of the facial muscles and is caused by damage to the facial nerve on one side of the face.

Bell's palsy is a fast-progressing yet self-limiting disorder. Although cerebral palsy does not worsen over time, the subdural injury might worsen existing symptoms.

Physiology of the Diseases

  • In Bell's palsy, swelling of the facial nerve (also known as the VII cranial nerve) causes weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles.

  • Disruptions in the pathways between the brain's cortex and the cerebellum are the root cause of cerebral palsy

Symptoms of the Diseases

  • Bell's palsy affects facial expressions such as eye closure, blinking, frowning, lacrimation, salivation, and smiling. Facial drooping is pronounced, and the affected individual's eye does not close.

  • Deformities, spasms, involuntary facial motions, uneven gait, scissor walking, etc. are all symptoms of cerebral palsy. Having trouble keeping your breath is a typical cause of speech and language difficulties.

Causes of the Diseases

  • Bell's palsy can occur when viruses in the herpes family are reactivated by factors such as stress.

  • Many factors are thought to contribute to the development of cerebral palsy, including maternal illness, preterm birth, hypoxia, birth trauma, prenatal problems, multiple births, early childhood trauma, severe jaundice, toxic exposure, and other factors.

Treatment of the Diseases

  • Corticosteroids are helpful in treating Bell's palsy, although most patients get well even without them.

  • Although there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, a wide variety of treatments are available to help those who suffer from it. These include occupational therapy, speech therapy, cord blood therapy, conductive education, massage therapy, physiotherapy, and even surgery. Individuals with this illness may have a wide range of learning problems due to the traumatic brain damage that underlies these difficulties.

Differences between Bell's Palsy and Cerebral Palsy

The following table highlights the major differences between Bell's Palsy and Cerebral Palsy −


Bell's Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

Area affected

Bell's palsy affects the facial muscles.

Cerebral palsy affects the Cerebrum.


Rapid progression with partial or complete palsy within a single day.

Nonprogressive motor conditions.

Characterized by

Facial drooping

Abnormal muscle tone like slouching while sitting.


Diagnosis by exclusion, eliminating all other reasonable possibilities.

Analysis of patient’s history and physical examination.


In this article, we explained in detail the symptoms, the diagnosis, and the recommended treatments for Bell's Palsy and Cerebral Palsy.

Updated on: 19-Jan-2023


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