Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the name of a group of chronic movement disorders caused by an injury to the areas of the brain that control movements. Cerebral palsy can be caused by a brain injury during pregnancy or labor and delivery. Each year, over 10,000 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Many of these cases are the result of a medical professional’s negligence.

There are four main classifications of cerebral palsy. These classifications are based on the specific area of the brain that was injured and describe different movement abnormalities:

  1. Spastic Cerebral Palsy – this is the most common type of cerebral palsy, affecting 70-80% of all cerebral palsy cases. Children with spastic cerebral palsy have lesions in their brain that cause movements that may look stiff and jerky. They also can have joint stiffness and muscle tightness. Spasticity is a form of hypertonia or increased muscle tone.

  • Spastic diplegia cerebral palsy – affects either both arms or both legs of the child

  • Spastic hemiplegia cerebral palsy – affects one side of the child’s body

  • Spastic quadriplegia – is the most severe type of cerebral palsy, affecting both arms and both legs of the child

  1. Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy – This type of cerebral palsy represents roughly 15% of all CP cases. Damage to the area of the brain partly responsible for regulating voluntary movements, known as the basal ganglia, is responsible for this classification of cerebral palsy. Children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy have variable movements that are involuntary.

      • Athetoid cerebral palsy – movements are marked by repetitive, rhythmic, twisted and squirming movements

      • Chorea cerebral palsy – movements are uncoordinated, irregular, and abrupt.

      • Choreoathetoid cerebral palsy – children have both athetoid and chorea cerebral palsy

      • Dystonic cerebral palsy – slow and uncontrollable writhing movements

  1. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – this is the least common type of cerebral palsy. Approximately five to ten percent of all people with cerebral palsy have this type of movement disorder. Ataxic CP is the result of damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that regulates balance. Children with ataxic cerebral palsy typically not only have balance issues but also coordination, depth perception, and eye movement problems.

  1. Mixed Cerebral Palsy – this is a combination of at least two forms of cerebral palsy. The most common mix is spastic-dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

Caring for a child with Cerebral Palsy

Caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be very expensive. You will want the highest quality of care, education, and treatment for your child, so that he can live comfortably and to his fullest potential. Cerebral palsy will require lifelong care that can include various therapies (physical, occupational, speech and language), surgeries, and rehabilitation costs, as well as extensive medical bills and accommodations to your home. Cerebral palsy symptoms can range from mild (small motor difficulties like slurring some words) to severe (the inability to walk or talk). The extent to which your child will need any of these types of treatments or accommodations will also vary. But the one constant is that they are all expensive.

Cerebral Palsy Law Firm

The Eisen Law Firm has been helping families like yours since 1976. We know the ins and outs of medical negligence cases because we only handle medical malpractice lawsuits, like cerebral palsy law claims. Our narrow focus enables us to better help our clients. When medical malpractice is the cause of your injury, we hold the responsible parties accountable, so that your child receives the compensation they deserve and the best possible medical care for their injuries, for life. You pay nothing for our services until we win -- no fees, no expenses, nothing. Contact us today at 216-687-0900.