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How to recognize the different cerebral palsy types

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a widespread condition that comes in a variety of forms. You can often tell them apart by which body parts they impact, the individual’s movements and how severe their symptoms are. This is valuable to know for anyone in Idaho with a loved one living with cerebral palsy.

How cerebral palsy types are classified

Cerebral palsy comes in five main categories:

  • Spastic
  • Ataxic
  • Athetoid
  • Hypotonic
  • Mixed

Not everyone with cerebral palsy necessarily shows the same symptoms, even if they have the same type. Motor control may be affected in multiple body parts, and symptoms aren’t always apparent immediately.

Which type is seen the most?

Spastic cerebral palsy is by far the most common at around 80% of cases. People with this form of CP tend to have low levels of voluntary control over their muscles. They also often have paresis, which is motor weakness. Some limbs might be paralyzed entirely, which is known as plegia.

Ataxic cerebral palsy is rarer and is only seen in 6% of cases. With this type, multiple limbs and complex motor functions may be impacted. This can come into play with basic tasks like walking. One of the main characteristics of this palsy type is the impairment of coordination.

When multiple brain regions are involved in an individual’s condition, it can lead to mixed cerebral palsy. This is characterized by different types of impairments affecting the body in various ways as a mix of symptoms from the other types. These warning signs may not be noticeable when the individual is still a young child. But as they age and certain milestones for motor skill development come around, it may become more clear.