Types of Cerebral Palsy | Birth Injury Law Alliance, LTD

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What Are The Types Of Cerebral Palsy?

Chicago medical malpractice lawyer for spastic or athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Addressing Mild, Moderate, or Severe Cerebral Palsy With the Help of a Chicago Attorney

A variety of different forms of Cerebral Palsy, or CP, can occur if a child's brain is damaged or develops abnormally. Brain damage resulting in CP typically occurs during birth or very early in a child's life. The way Cerebral Palsy is categorized usually depends on how issues with muscle tone in different parts of the body result from injuries to different parts of the brain. A person may experience hypotonia (low muscle tone) or hypertonia (high muscle tone). CP typically falls into one of the following categories:

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

This type of CP is sometimes known as pyramidal Cerebral Palsy, since it is caused when damage occurs in the pyramidal tract of nerve fibers in the brain. This is the most common type of CP, affecting more than 70% of patients. It involves hypertonia in the affected parts of the body, which causes muscles to be stiff and rigid, resulting in spastic movements. People with spastic CP often struggle to eat, speak, or walk.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

This type of CP is known as non-spastic, extrapyramidal, or dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. It affects around 10% of CP patients, and it can result from damage to the brain's cerebellum and/or basal ganglia. Athetoid CP may result in a mixture of hypotonia or hypertonia, causing a person to experience involuntary movements in their face, torso, arms, legs, hands, or feet.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

This type of CP is caused by damage to the cerebellum, and it affects around 10% of Cerebral Palsy patients. It can affect a person's balance and coordination and their ability to perform actions that require precise movements.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy

If multiple parts of the brain are damaged, a person may experience more than one type of CP. This occurs in about 10% of all cases, and it commonly involves a mixture of spastic and athetoid Cerebral Palsy.

Parts of the Body Affected by CP

Cerebral Palsy can be further categorized by the extent that it affects the different areas of a person's body. Terms that use the suffix "-paresis" refer to a body part being weakened, while the suffix "-plegia" refers to paralysis in a part of the body. CP may involve:

  • Monoparesis or monoplegia - Only one limb is affected.
  • Diparesis or diplegia - Two limbs are affected. These are usually the legs, but a person may also experience issues with movement in the upper body.
  • Paraparesis or paraplegia - The lower half of the body is affected.
  • Hemiparesis or hemiplegia - One side of the body is affected, and a person will typically experience movement issues in both an arm and a leg.
  • Double hemiparesis or double hemiplegia - Both arms and both legs are affected, but movement problems are worse on one side of the body than the other, or the arms may be affected differently than the legs.
  • Triparesis or triplegia - Three limbs are affected. In some cases, a person may experience movement issues in one arm, one leg, and their head or face.
  • Tetraparesis or tetraplegia - All four limbs are affected, but one arm or leg may experience different movement problems than the other three limbs.
  • Quadriparesis or quadriplegia - All four limbs are equally affected.
  • Pentaparesis or pentaplegia - In addition to movement problems in all four limbs, a person may experience paralysis or weakening in the head and neck muscles, which can result in problems with eating and breathing.

Help Addressing Different Types of Cerebral Palsy

Every CP case is unique, and depending on the areas of the brain that were injured and the parts of the body that are affected, the care and treatment a person requires can vary significantly. However, regardless of the extent and severity of the condition, the costs involved can be incredibly high, and they are likely to impact a family for many years to come, or even the rest of their lives.

At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, we can help you determine whether the brain injuries that lead to Cerebral Palsy were the result of medical negligence. We will work with you to identify the best resources that will help you care for your child, including taking legal action to recover compensation for the harm that was done to your family. There is no charge for your case evaluation, and we will only collect legal fees if we successfully obtain financial compensation for you. To schedule a free consultation, contact a Chicago birth injury lawyer at 312-462-4200.

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