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Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of the body due to a problem with the way messages pass between the brain and muscles. It can be complete or partial. It can occur in just one area, or on one side of the body (hemiplegia), or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of the body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.

Stroke and spinal cord injury are common causes of paralysis.