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Objective: Fatigue contributes to the deterioration or cessation of walking ability in adults with cerebral palsy (CP). However, conflict exists as to its role. Studies involving functional tasks reported increased, and earlier onset of, fatigue in CP whereas laboratory studies have reported individuals with CP to be more fatigue resistant than their peers.
Methods: A critical review of the literature related to fatigue in CP was conducted.
Results: This review describes factors that contribute to the observed fatigue resistance in laboratory tasks and how a decreased force-production in CP can result in higher energy expenditure to perform the same amount of work as their peers.
Conclusion: More research regarding the process of fatigue and recovery for individuals with CP is needed; specifically studies that focus on functional movements requiring the integration of the whole body, thereby stressing the neuromuscular system in a different way than previously explored.