Types of Cerebral Palsy
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Types/Classifications of Cerebral Palsy
Each case of cerebral palsy is classified into one of three major groups. These groups indicate the various impairments in movement as well as the area of the brain that is damaged.
Spastic: Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy. Nearly 80% of all cases are considered spastic. People with spastic cerebral palsy are hypertonic, which means that their muscles are abnormally stiff and unable to stretch. Spastic cerebral palsy cases can affect all of the body or just one side.
Athetoid/Dyskinetic: Cerebral palsy is classified as athetoid (also known as dyskinetic) when there is mixed muscle tone. This is defined as some muscles being hypertonic (abnormally high amounts of tension in the muscles) and some muscles being hypotonic (abnormally low amounts of tension in the muscles). Athetoid cerebral palsy occurs in approximately 25% of all people with this condition. People with athetoid cerebral palsy have difficultly sitting or walking and often move involuntarily. They also have trouble holding onto objects. For many with athetoid cerebral palsy, it is very difficult to move their hand to a certain location, such as when reaching for an object.
Ataxic: Cerebral palsy is considered ataxic when the damage in the brain is located in the cerebellum. This causes the person to have problems with balance and difficulty walking. Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest type of the condition. People with ataxic cerebral palsy often have less developed motor skills, as well.