Different Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive motor disorder, and is considered the most common condition of its kind to afflict children. It is characterized by difficulty in controlling movements and maintaining posture, the degree of disability depending on the severity of the condition. It is believed that the disorder is due to abnormal development or damage to the brain, although no one really knows for certain. Some believe that many cases are due to inadequate prenatal care; others believe it is due to birth injuries sustained during a difficult labor or medical malpractice.

There are several ways to classify cerebral palsy. This includes according to severity and area affected. As mentioned earlier, the afflicted individual’s ability to function depends on the severity of the condition. People with mild cerebral palsy may simply seem a little awkward but needs no special care, equipment, or assistance to function. Other types of cerebral palsy according to severity are:

  • Moderate – will require some special equipment such as braces to get around, and may be on lifelong medication to control movement, but is generally functional
  • Severe – very limited mobility, may require a wheelchair, and assistance in accomplishing daily activities
  • No CP – this can be confusing, but refers to cases where the condition was acquired after the brain had developed, so it is classified based on causation, such as physical trauma or postnatal infection.

Cerebral palsy may also be classified according to how the body is affected and what area. Paresis means weakened, and plegia/plegic means paralyzed, so monoparesis/monoplegia means weakness/paralysis to only one limb, while hemiplegia/hemiparesis means the arm and leg of one side is affected. Other types include:

  • Diplegia/diparesis – both legs
  • Paraplegia/paraparesis –  lower half of the body, including legs
  • Triplegia/triparesis – three limbs are affected, such as both arms and a leg
  • Double hemiplegia/double hemiparesis – all arms and legs, but one side more than the other
  • Tetraplegia/tetraparesis – all arms and legs, but three more than the fourth
  • Quadriplegia/quadriparesis – all four limbs are equally affected
  • Pentaplegia/pentaparesis – all four limbs plus neck and head paralysis

A birth injury attorney would inform you that some children would have been born without any form of palsy had they not been mishandled during delivery. While it is not always the case, there are times when cerebral palsy is the direct result of negligence by a hospital employee and that cannot be allowed.

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