The Different Types of Cerebral Palsy

cerebral palsyCerebral palsy is a broad term for a condition that affects an individual’s posture, muscle tone, balance and movement. Cerebral palsy can result during embryonic development or it can be the unfortunate result of a traumatic birth injury. Often, cerebral palsy results from inadequate blood or oxygen.  Other possible causes can be seen here. There are five different types of cerebral palsy, each explained below.

 

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

When children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, most children will be diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. In fact, spastic cerebral palsy affects between 80 and 90 percent of cerebral palsy sufferers. This type can affect one side of the body, it can affect two limbs, or it can affect all four limbs. When two limbs are affected, this is known as spastic diplegia. When four limbs are affected, this is known as spastic quadriplegia.

Spastic cerebral palsy causes muscle tightness and can sometimes cause an individual to have difficulty communicating. The symptoms of this type of cerebral palsy are treated with physical therapy, stretching, exercises, and sometimes, Botox. It is important to note that this does not affect an individual’s intelligence.

 

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid cerebral palsy affects about 20 percent of cerebral palsy sufferers and the symptoms are slightly different from the previously mentioned type of cerebral palsy. Athetoid cerebral palsy can cause slow, involuntary muscle movements, especially of the torso and of the extremities. Sometimes this type of cerebral palsy also affects face and tongue muscles, in which case drug and speech therapy is required. Muscle tone with this type of cerebral palsy is mixed; it can either be too high or too low.

 

Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

Hypotonic cerebral palsy results in very uncontrollable, floppy arms and legs. It also tends to affect the individual’s posture, so they will often slouch or lie down. Trouble controlling and holding the head in a neutral position is also difficult for individuals with this type of cerebral palsy. Additionally, fatigue is a very common symptom of hypotonic cerebral palsy.

 

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common type of cerebral palsy, and less than 5 percent of individuals with cerebral palsy will have the ataxic variety. This type of cerebral palsy affects how well an individual can balance and coordinate their muscles. Individuals will have poorly defined muscle tone and will have difficulty moving.

 

Mixed Cerebral Palsy

It is possible for individuals to be affected by a combination of different types of cerebral palsy, which is known as mixed cerebral palsy. When this presents, it is most common for the spastic and athetoid types to be mixed together, although mixing of any of the types of cerebral palsy is possible.

Sometimes cerebral palsy cannot be prevented, as it can occur during embryonic development. However, sometimes cerebral palsy is the result of a traumatic birth injury. Again, this can be unpreventable or it can be result of medical negligence.

If you or someone you know has a child with cerebral palsy, and you believe it could be the result of medical negligence, consider seeking the professional help of an experienced birth injury lawyer. Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. is a law firm comprised of cerebral palsy injury and birth injury lawyers located in Illinois.  For more information about birth injuries and cerebral palsy, visit the website at www.CerebralPalsyInjuries.com.

Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors

Cerebral PalsyCerebral palsy is often seen as a muscular disorder, but it is actually a combination of several neurological conditions that can affect the muscles quite dramatically. The word “cerebral” references the cerebrum, which is a part of the brain. Therefore, cerebral palsy is a disorder that originates in the brain. This article discusses cerebral palsy risk factors.

Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice

Some babies are born with noticeable signs of cerebral palsy, while other children have symptoms but are not properly diagnosed for a few years. However, most cases of cerebral palsy are noticed within the child’s first three years of life. One key sign of cerebral palsy includes the child being slow to do any of the activities that are normally done at their age, such as sitting up, crawling, laughing, and talking. A lack of muscle control is also a noticeable sign of cerebral palsy.

Medical malpractice can be a risk factor associated with the disorder. However, it’s not only medical malpractice that can cause cerebral palsy; many children are born with cerebral palsy where medical malpractice was not proven to be a part of the equation.

Hypoxia and Cerebral Palsy

There is a condition that develops when the brain does not receive the proper amount of oxygen; this condition is called hypoxia and it can develop over the period of time between birth and the few days after birth. Babies born with a limited oxygen flow to the brain have a 40 to 70 percent chance of ending up with a life-long disorder such as cerebral palsy, while the other percentage will end up with no disability.

Limited oxygen flow to the brain can sometimes occur for no known reason when the baby is in the womb, but it can also occur during the birthing process. When the baby is in the womb, the following things can happen: the umbilical cord may become wrapped around the baby’s neck; there may be an infection; or the baby may suffer congenial heart disease. All of these issues can result in a decrease in oxygen to the baby’s brain. Hypoxia occurs in approximately 2 to 10 of 1000 births in the Unites States.

Head Trauma and Cerebral Palsy

Head trauma is serious, and it can result in cerebral palsy. Head trauma can occur as a result of medical negligence during the birthing process. When head trauma happens to full-term babies during labor or delivery, it is usually evidenced by the abnormality of the pH in the cord blood. In addition to pH, the baby usually scores quite low on the Apgar scale, and the fetal monitor will often indicate oxygen deprivation.

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition that develops in nearly 10,000 new babies every year in the United States. It is a life-long condition that significantly affects the quality of life for children and their families. It’s important for new parents to better understand cerebral palsy, its risk factors, and learn what they can do to improve their situation.

If your child was born with cerebral palsy and you believe that it was a result of medical malpractice or hospital negligence, seek a legal professional to review your case.  Janet, Jenner & Suggs, Attorneys at Law represent cerebral palsy victims nationwide.  For more information, visit the website of cerebral palsy attorneys Janet, Jenner & Suggs at www.Cerebral-Palsy-Injury.com.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy
One of the most common of all childhood disabilities, cerebral palsy, is a disorder which impacts the individual in many different ways. People who live with this condition experience difficulties in movement, motor skills, and muscle tone. Also commonly known as CP, the main cause of cerebral palsy is brain damage which happens in utero, during childbirth, or very shortly after childbirth – in some rare cases, cerebral palsy cans be from brain injury which occurred before the child researches 5 years old. Causes of CP are varied and sometimes unknown; BBC Health points out that some causes include an infection during the pregnancy of the mother or fetus can cause this disorder – other factors include fetal injury in the womb and during childbirth, and infant seizures.

Facts About Cerebral Palsy

  • Cerebral palsy is the number one most prevalent motor disability in children
  • According to the CDC, an average, 1 in 303 children are diagnosed as having cerebral palsy by the time they are 8 years of age
  • African American and Caucasian children suffer from CP at a much higher rate than Hispanic children
  • Boys are 1.2 times more likely to have CP than their female counterparts
  • 40% of children with CP also have a mental disability
  • 35% of people who have cerebral palsy also have epilepsy
  • 1/4 of children with CP actually have both a mental disability and epilepsy
  • Babies born prematurely and/or of low birth weight are more likely to have CP
  • A twin is 5 times more likely to have cerebral palsy
  • Children conceived through IVF are 1.6 times more likely to be born with CP
  • Medical costs for children with only CP are ten times more than a child without a disorder
  • Children with cerebral palsy and mental disabilities will face medical costs which are 26 times higher than a child without either

Signs and Screening

Sometimes symptoms of CP are not clearly visible or easy to pinpoint. Signs of this disorder are not as cookie cutter as they can be with other conditions; each person may have completely different symptoms than the next person. Most commonly, cerebral palsy will start to raise questions around early infancy; when a baby fails to meet developmental milestones, parents often start to become concerned. Babies with CP often miss important markers for rolling over, sitting up, crawling/scooting, and walking. Less obvious signs in infants are abnormal postures, underdeveloped muscle tone, and twitching – these signs might only be noticed by a doctor with experience in this area. Most experts will agree that the earlier a child is identified as having CP, the better. Diagnosis is also very important for families of these children as they will then be able to receive help for care of the child through insurance and certain government programs. Diagnosing a child involves monitoring & screening for developmental cues, and medical evaluations.

Getting Treatment

While there is no cure for CP, there are treatments which can help the individual manage their symptoms. Intervention treatments and programs have proven effectiveness for both children and adults suffering with cerebral palsy. Common treatments include speech therapy and physical therapy, both of which are usually carried out through adulthood. Learn more about research and prognosis for cerebral palsy on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s webpage.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a Cerebral Palsy injury law firm located in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, please visit us at www.cerebralpalsyinjuries.com.