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Exploring Spastic, Ataxic, and Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

What is Spastic Cerebral Palsy?

Spastic cerebral palsy is a type of cerebral palsy characterized by jerky movements, muscle tightness and joint stiffness. Often caused by brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth, spastic cerebral palsy affects the normal development of motor function, as the damaged part of the brain sends the wrong neurological messages. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of the condition, affecting as many as 80% of children with cerebral palsy.

There are three types of spastic cerebral palsy: spastic quadriplegia, spastic diplegia, and spastic hemiplegia. Spastic quadriplegia causes difficulty controlling movements in the arms, legs, torso, and face. Spastic diplegia is characterized by a tightness or stiffness, mostly in the lower extremities, while spastic hemiplegia usually affects one side of the body

The most noticeable spastic cerebral palsy symptoms are developmental delays in movement, including difficulties rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking. People with the condition also may have stiff muscles (hypertonia) and exaggerated movements. Other symptoms of cerebral palsy may include abnormal gait and/or involuntary movements.

Spasticity is due to damage to the motor cortex of the brain, which can happen before, during, or after birth. Often, this is a result of medical negligence. Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries that may occur as a result of medical malpractice.

Fortunately, spastic cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition, meaning the condition will not get worse over time. However, symptoms and pain may change with severity, so prompt cerebral palsy diagnosis is important.

What Is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?

Ataxic cerebral palsy affects between 5-10% of people with cerebral palsy. Individuals with ataxia struggle with their sense of balance and depth perception, causing unsteady, shaky movements and difficulties maintaining balance. Ataxic cerebral palsy symptoms also include speech and oral problems, such as “scanning speech” and difficulty swallowing.

The condition is caused by damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls motor function. Damage to the cerebellum may be caused by infections in the womb, loss of oxygen at birth, head trauma during or after birth, or fetal stroke.

What is Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy?

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy (also called athetoid cerebral palsy) is characterized by slow writhing movements (athetosis), twisting movements (dystonia), or irregular/unpredictable movements (chorea). These movement are particularly noticeable when a person with the condition attempts to move. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy affects only about 6% of people with the condition. When present in only one part of the body, the condition is called focal dystonia. When symptoms are affect the whole body, it is known as generalized dystonia.

This form of cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the basal ganglia, the brain’s “switchboard” for regulating messages relaying voluntary movements. The basal ganglia also regulates emotion, mood and behavior.

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy causes include neonatal strokes, untreated jaundice and hyperbilirubinemia, maternal medical complications, and injury during delivery.

Is There a Cure of Cerebral Palsy?

Presently, no cure exists for cerebral palsy; however many types of treatments are available for people with the condition. Medication and physical, speech, or occupational therapies are the most common treatments. Early intervention is important to help with developmental and social skills, which may improve quality of life.

Are There Any Assistive Devices for Cerebral Palsy?

Equipment for children with cerebral palsy can help to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life. Mobility devices for cerebral palsy include orthotic devices, crutches and canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. For individuals who struggle with communication, speech generating devices help to connect them with family, friends, and their environment. High tech communication devices also allow individuals to translate skills they have, such as eye gaze, into language. These devices can be used to help children with cerebral palsy in school, in social situations, and in everyday life.

How Do I Know if My Child has Cerebral Palsy Because of a Birth Injury?

A birth injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a birth injury claim, so please call us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation, which may help to cover medical bills to get your child the treatment he or she needs.

The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.

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