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Types of Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

The least common type of cerebral palsy is Athetoid cerebral palsy. This type of cerebral palsy happens when a part of the brain is damaged. Specifically the cerebellum, which controls fluid movement and body posture. Typically patients affected by athetoid cerebral palsy will have spasm like movements that are not controllable. These involuntary movements can affect normal every day activities such as eating and talking. Involuntary movements can also increase during times of emotional stress. Likewise the movements can also disappear completely during sleep. These involuntary movements can sometimes be small or large motions appearing as if the person is having jerking motions when fully calm. Athetoid cerebral palsy can affect the muscles in the face and tongue, causing drooling and cause difficulty eating. Aside from affecting eating, this disorder can also cause issues with speech. Extensive speech therapy can help those that suffer with athetoid cerebral palsy to increase communication skills.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Ataxic palsy generally affects muscle tone and coordination. This type of cerebral palsy can make the child look somewhat shaky and having trouble when walking or moving. The child may put their feet too far or too close together when walking. The child may also shake frequently similar to tremors you may see in an elderly person. These disabilities general affect everyday activities such as eating and getting dressed. Extra care must be used with children and adults that suffer from ataxic cerebral palsy. Children that have ataxic cerebral palsy will typically need lifetime support to help them with everyday activities. Physical therapy may help them overcome some of these challenges and increase their quality of life. Ataxic cerebral palsy is a rare form of cerebral palsy and affects approximately 10% of all cerebral palsy children.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

The most common form of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy causes strict tight muscle movement. Muscles works in pairs - when one contracts the other group relaxes to allow movement. Spastic cerebral palsy causes complications in the nerves that control muscle groups. This can cause one or more groups of muscles to stay tightened, thereby affecting movement in that muscle group. Spastic cerebral palsy is not a disorder that worsens over time. However muscle groups can increase in stiffness and may restrict range of movement. Recently new treatments have been used to help children and adults that suffer from spastic cerebral palsy. One of the newest treatments is the use of Botox. Botox is typically used for cosmetic purposes. When injected into a muscle, Botox weakens and relaxes the muscle. Most commonly Botox is used for facial muscles to reduce muscle tension. For cerebral palsy patient, Botox has been effective. However, Botox injections only last about three to four months. Orthopedic operations can be used in extreme cases of spastic muscles. In these cases tendons are lengthened so the muscles can relax. All of these treatments take time and can be costly. If your child’s cerebral palsy has been caused by a doctor or medical staff’s negligence you may be entitled to compensation. Financial compensation that be used to get your child the therapy and treatments they need to increase their quality of life. You have nothing to lose to speak to a qualified Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer today. Remember the statute of limitations in Maryland Medical Malpractice cases can expire quickly if someone does not act upon a claim fast enough.


No matter the type of cerebral palsy, there are similarities between all of them. Your child will be faced with challenges handing many every day tasks. Find out the answers you need, speak to a Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer today.

Learn more about Cerebral Palsy - Contact a Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer

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