Cerebral palsy types
Cerebral palsy is a word that we often hear but many fail to understand. People think cerebral palsy or CP as it is often called is a mental disorder or a birth injury and it is understandable why they think that way. Perhaps we should look at the name for clues. cerebral which means ‘of the brain’ and palsy which means ‘paralysis'.
Cerebral palsy is a condition brought about following an injury to the brain and that covers the time a baby is in the womb as a neonate, during birth and the following two years, although experts cannot agree exactly how long this period extends.
If the part of the brain responsible for the control of body movement senses, co-ordination and muscle tone is harmed it may result in the child developing a range of tell-tale symptoms of cerebral palsy
There are three types of cerebral palsy:
Spastic cerebral palsy
This is the most common form of cerebral palsy which appears in around 75% of cases.
The most notable symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy are rigid limbs although the amount does very from case to case. Movements tend to be stiff and jerky and as the condition becomes mature muscles may become shortened. The child may suffer from learning disabilities
Spastic cerebral palsy can also be sub-divided by the extent to which the body is affected:
Hemiplegia means that both the arms and legs of one side only are affected.
Diplegia means that both legs are affected however arms are not necessarily affected or only mildly.
Quadraplegia means that legs and arms are affected and may be in varying levels
Athetoid cerebral palsy
This condition also known as dyskinetic cerebral palsy or dystonic cerebral palsy and present in around 20% of cases
The most notable symptoms are unintended movements, wriggle and writhe.
Sufferers of this type of CP have good intelligence and understanding.
Ataxic cerebral palsy
This is the least common type of cerebral palsy with approximately 5% of overall cases.
It would probably be fair to suggest that people suffering from ataxic cerebral palsy have less obvious symptoms than the other two. Symptoms include difficulty with balance, spatial awareness and have shaky and unsteady movement
Mixed cerebral palsy
Many people are affected by more than one type of cerebral palsy and the symptoms affect sufferers to varying degrees.
Cerebral palsy causes
The onset of cerebral palsy is due to baby's developing brain suffering injury or malformation. Expert opinion suggest the most likely time for this to occur is the latter part of pregnancy, during birth or up to the age of two.
It may be there is no obvious single cause but there are four types of damage to baby's brain that cause the condition.
Infection during pregnancy
Lack of oxygen to the brain
See Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
Abnormal brain development
A genetic link
Some people may find our information on making a legal claim useful.
Additional risk factors
Factors that increase the risk of CP include:
Difficult or premature births
Twins or Multiple births
Mother’s age, below 20 or over 40
Fathers age, under 20 years
Baby's birth weight, below than 2.5 pounds
Premature birth, less than 37 weeks
The combination of any two or more risk factors enhance the probability of cerebral palsy.
Information on this page about cerebral palsy is intended
to provide an easily digestible overview of the condition
and not considered as expert medical advice
Common conditions associated with cerebral palsy
No two children or adults with cerebral palsy have identical conditions, but here is a sample of the most common.