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Posted by Sandy on Jul 22, 2015

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is caused by damage or improper development of the brain, typically before or during birth, although trauma to the brain after birth can cause CP as well. All types of CP affect a person’s ability to control the muscles in their body in some form, but some cause speech or vision impairment as well. According to the website of The Driscoll Firm, P.C., there are three main types of CP: spastic, athetoid/dyskinetic, and ataxic. However, these forms are not exclusive and an individual can suffer from more than one form of CP which is referred to simply as mixed CP.

Spastic CP is the most common of all forms of CP. People with spastic CP have a difficult time controlling muscle groups due to damage to the motor cortex part of their brain. Their movements often appear stiff and jerky and they have a hard time performing tasks such as speaking or handling objects.

Asthetoid CP, or sometimes referred to as Diskinetic CP, is caused by damage to the basal ganglia part of the brain. The basal ganglia is responsible for regulating movements. There are different forms of this type of CP that result from different types of damage. Dystonia is characterized by jerky but repetitive movements. Asthetosis creates very slow movements, and chorea makes a person’s movements very unpredictable and irregular.

Ataxic CP is the least common form of CP. Ataxic CP is caused by damage to the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance. As a result, people with Ataxic CP are often shaky, unbalanced, have poor depth perception, and their movements can be jerky and uncoordinated.

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