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What are the different types of cerebral palsy?

New Mexico residents might be interested to learn about the major classifications of cerebral palsy. Different types of cerebral palsy can be identified by certain physical symptoms in the body. These variations in the level of movement and impairment in a person's body are a result of the location of the brain injury they endured. Although the classifications may sometimes overlap, cerebral palsy is generally classified into four major types.

The most common form of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy, which results from damage to the motor cortex. Approximately 70 percent of cerebral palsy patients have either spastic quadriplegia, spastic diplegia or spastic hemiplegia. These brain injuries result in varying impairment of the legs and arms.

Other less common forms of cerebral palsy are ataxic, athetoid and dyskinetic cerebral palsy. Affecting 10 percent of patients, ataxic cerebral palsy is a result of damage to the cerebellum. This type of cerebral palsy can cause the patient to have decreased coordination and motor skills. Athetoid and dyskinetic cerebral palsy causes involuntary movements that can make walking and performing tasks that require motor skills difficult. Approximately thirty percent of cerebral palsy patients have athetoid or dyskinetic symptoms.

Parents of a child diagnosed with any form of cerebral palsy may likely have questions about how and when the brain injury occurred. In some cases, a thorough investigation into the matter could uncover evidence of delivery room errors that may have caused the child's brain injury. If a parent believes their child's cerebral palsy was a result of medical negligence, an attorney might help them seek financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Every case is different, however, and the information in this blog should not be considered as legal advice.

Source:, "Types of Cerebral Palsy," Oct. 27, 2014

Source: Birth, "Brachial Plexus", October 27, 2014

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