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Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are several types of cerebral palsy because the term is broad and used to describe brain impairment caused at birth or in the first years of life that is typically marked by motor impairment and other hindrances. Cerebral palsy types are classified based on the types of motor impairments caused by this condition, and the parts of the body this impairment affects.

Free Cerebral Palsy Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

Cerebral palsy often occurs while the embryo is developing during pregnancy where some form of abnormal development or damage is caused to the brain. It can also result from a trauma that was caused during the birth process itself where, for one of many reasons, the infant was deprived of either blood or oxygen.

In either event, if the area of the brain affected controls muscle tone or motor activity, the baby will have a form of cerebral palsy. Parents who notice an apparent deviation from the developmental norm of their child should seek professional medical advice from an experienced clinic or medical practitioner.

Cerebral Palsy Types

To describe the particular area of the brain which was damaged and the types of movement which are challenged, medical specialists classify cerebral palsy into five broad categories:

  • spastic cerebral palsy – Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all cerebral palsy cases. Children with this type of cerebral palsy have one or more tight muscle groups which limit movement. Children with spastic cerebral palsy have stiff and jerky movements. They often have a hard time moving from one position to another. They may also have a hard time holding and letting go of objects.
  • athetoid cerebral palsy – Athetoid cerebral palsy is a form of athetonia, which is marked by slow, writhing involuntary muscle movement. A mixed muscle tone where some are too high and others too low also characterize athetoid cerebral palsy. Damage to the basal ganglia, located in the midbrain, is the cause of this type of cerebral palsy. Approximately 25 percent of cerebral palsy patients are affected by athetoid cerebral palsy. Athetoid cerebral palsy can also be referred to as dyskenetic cerebral palsy.
  • hypotonic cerebral palsy – Hypotonic cerebral palsy is a form of the disorder marked by floppy (overly relaxed) muscles; hypotonic CP is rarer than the spastic forms of the disorder.
  • ataxic cerebral palsy – Ataxic cerebral palsy – which is the least common form of CP affecting between 5-10 percent of those afflicted by the disease – is caused by damage to the cerebellum which controls balance and coordination. The cerebellum also coordinates the movement of several groups of muscles. Ataxic cerebral palsy generally affects coordination of movement in an individual’s arms, legs, and trunk.
  • mixed cerebral palsy – According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 10 percent of all cerebral palsy patients have what is referred to as a mixed form of the disorder. Mixed cerebral palsy refers to cases in which patients display symptoms of two or three different types of cerebral palsy.

Do I have a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

The Birth Injury Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in cerebral palsy lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

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