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Cerebral Palsy

What is cerebral palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affect the brain’s control over muscles and the nervous system. Cerebral Palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that occurs before or during birth which affects a child’s ability to control their muscles. 

The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy vary. A child with severe Cerebral Palsy might need to use special equipment to be able to walk, or may not be able to walk at all. A child with mild Cerebral Palsy, may have difficulty walking. 

There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy and although the disorder does not worsen over time, the exact symptoms can change, requiring a lifetime of care. Therapy, medication, and surgery can be used to improve your child’s quality of life. Pending the severity of their condition, children may be able to live independently or may require lifelong care.


It’s important that if your child has Cerebral Palsy you should contact a birth injury law firm to understand if you are entitled to any compensation to assist your child’s current and future quality of life.

Types of Injury That Cause Cerebral Palsy

There are four types of cerebral paalsy that result from trauma during childbirth.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Referred to as Hypertonic Cerebral Palsy, it is the most common type of brain damage, making up 70-80% of cases. Most children experience high muscle tone and exaggerated, jerky movements since Spastic Cerebral Palsy is caused by brain damage to the motor cortex, which controls voluntary movements. It can also cause damage to the pyramidal tracts, which relay muscle signals.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Referred to as Non-spastic Cerebral Palsy or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy, it affects up to 10% of children with the condition. It is characterized by a mixture of hypotonia and hypertonia which causes muscle tone to fluctuate. The main trait of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is involuntary movement in the face, torso and limbs, which is caused by brain damage to the basal ganglia. This part of the brain regulates voluntary motor function and eye movement of the cerebellum, which controls balance and coordination.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Ataxia makes up a small percentage of Cerebral Palsy and is characterized by issues with balance and coordination. Children with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy often experience tremors and a reduction in muscle tone which is caused by damage to the cerebellum which controls balance and coordination.

Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

Referred to as Atonic Cerebral Palsy, it is very rare and classified by low muscle tone that causes loss of strength and firmness, resulting in 'floppy' muscles. Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy may resulting a child's inability to crawl, stand, or walk.

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