Types of Cerebral Palsy

cerebral palsyNo parent wants to think about the possibility of their child having cerebral palsy. This injury, which occurs during or just prior to birth, affects the brain causing everyday challenges for those afflicted. Affecting the brain also means that there are numerous types of cerebral palsy, each with their own unique symptoms. Doctors have a hard time understanding everything about this disability because there are so many variations of cerebral palsy. For a more in-depth explanation of the various versions children suffer from, continue reading.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

This form is considered the rarest version of the disability and the least-diagnosed. Ataxic cerebral palsy has an effect only on a child’s precise motor skills. Symptoms will manifest themselves in minor ways like challenges with balance and a speech impediment because of issues in the inner ear. Minute tasks like buttoning up a shirt or tying shoelaces will also be difficult and may bring about tremors when the child becomes frustrated.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid cerebral palsy is the most widespread type. Unfortunately, this version suppresses a child’s ability to intellectually express themselves, which means they can feel trapped inside their own body.

Choreoathetoid Cerebral Palsy

Choreoathetoid cerebral palsy is much like the athetoid cerebral palsy, except that it also involves involuntary twitching.

Diplegic Cerebral Palsy

You may hear this type of cerebral palsy called Little’s Disease or spastic diplegia. This was the first version to ever be diagnosed and given a name. Children with diplegic cerebral palsy are afflicted with muscle spasticity and tense muscles, but only in their lower body. In some cases, children’s legs actually cross over one another at the knees involuntarily, making walking very challenging.

Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

An injury to the brain that originates from a hypoxic-ischemic injury or bilirubin encephalopathy can cause what is known as dyskinetic cerebral palsy. It is also a name sometimes used to describe athetoid cerebral palsy.

Dystonic Cerebral Palsy

Dystonic cerebral palsy is characterized by abnormal muscular movements that are usually either spastic or extremely sluggish. Writhing movements are common as well. As a result, children with dystonic cerebral palsy have muscles that can be tight or floppy.

Epidural Hematoma Cerebral Palsy

Most cerebral palsy types get their names from the symptoms they cause. However, with epidural hematoma cerebral palsy, its name actually stems from how the child got the disorder. This version is the result of a stroke, usually suffered by the child during the birthing process.

Grade 1 IHV Cerebral Palsy

Grade 1 IHV cerebral palsy is generally a very mild form. Most children who suffer from it will recover after some developmental challenges, so long as they undergo various forms of physical therapy.

Hypertonic or Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms that accompany this kind of cerebral palsy appear early on, making it easy to diagnose. Babies with hypertonic or hypotonic cerebral palsy are sometimes compared to rag dolls. They do not stiffen when their limbs are moved or they are picked up.

Hemiparetic or Hemiphlegic Cerebral Palsy

Strokes can also cause hemiparetic cerebral palsy, which only affects the left or right side of the child’s body. On the affected side, they will suffer from either muscle spasticity or stiffness. Generally, the arm and hand are affected or the child’s leg, but not both. Speech problems may be experienced too. Children who have this version are also more vulnerable to seizures.

Non-spastic (Extrapyramidial) Cerebral Palsy

While the muscles do not involuntarily contract or twist with this form of axatic cerebral palsy, speech problems, motor skill challenge and respiratory issues are still present.

Periventricular Leukomalacia Cerebral Palsy

Children with this version of cerebral palsy may have some difficulties with their muscles, but it mainly affects their brain. They are more likely to experience seizures than with other forms and may develop epilepsy.

Spastic Quadriplegia

A child that has spastic quadriplegia will lack control of their limbs. Developmental milestones, therefore, will take a lot longer to reach. Sadly, the path to these developmental markers may also be quite painful.

Subdural Hematoma Cerebral Palsy

This version is believed to result from trauma to the head, like in the case of a baby being dropped. When this happens, the minute veins below the dura and above the skull stretch and even tear. Blood collects and the brain suffers sustained injuries.

These are the main forms of cerebral palsy. If you think your infant shows signs of any of them, be sure to see a doctor as soon as you can.