There are hundreds of different types of birth injuries that can happen before, during and after the birth of a child. One of the more popular and well known about birth injuries is cerebral palsy. This disorder or injury affects more than 5,000 children in the United States every year. There are many different causes of this disorder. They can result from damage to the brain of the child while in the womb or through some negligence on the part of the doctor. No matter what the cause, the results are still the same - the child will suffer from brain damage. The extent of the damage ranges from child to child. There are some cases where cerebral palsy presents itself in a mild manner, while there are other cases where the extent of the damage is severe.
There are four different types of cerebral palsy. These include spastic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, athetoid cerebral palsy and mixed cerebral palsy. Each different type has its own defining characteristics, but there can be some commonalities between each type. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy. This type accounts for almost eighty percent of all cases of cerebral palsy today in the United States. One or more tight muscle groups characterize this type of cerebral palsy in children, which therefore limits movement in the child. Children who suffer from this type have jerky and stiff movements. It is very hard for these children to move from one position to another and they often require some kind of aide to be with them to help them move around.
Ataxic cerebral palsy however, is characterized by low muscle tone and poor coordination of movements. Children who suffer from ataxic cerebral palsy can be described as being very shaky and unsteady. This form of cerebral palsy is not common and some medical professionals would even say that is a one of the rarest forms of cerebral palsy. The children who suffer from this form of cerebral palsy walk with a gait due to the fact that their feet are farther apart than normal. Due to the fact that these people are shaky and unsteady in addition to poor coordination they often take longer to complete a task and may require assistance.
The third type of cerebral palsy is known as athetoid cerebral palsy. This form of the disease affects about ten percent of all children will cerebral palsy. Some form of damage to cerebellum causes it. Damage to this area of the brain results in the child having involuntary purposeful movements, especially in the face, hands and arms. These movements in most cases will affect or interfere with speaking and grasping of objects. It has also been found that children who suffer from this form of cerebral palsy have difficulty in feeding.
The fourth type of cerebral palsy is known as mixed cerebral palsy. This form of cerebral palsy also affects about ten percent of all children who have been diagnosed with this condition. It is called mixed cerebral palsy due to the fact that there is a combination of factors that occur as a result of this disease. Children who suffer from this form are likely to experience both the tight muscles that are found in spastic cerebral palsy, in addition to the involuntary movements characterized by athetoid cerebral palsy. This mixture of conditions is due to the fact that there is damage to the pyramidal and extrapyramidal areas of the brain. The spastic cerebral palsy characteristics are often more dominant or observable in mixed cerebral palsy. This is most common combination found in mixed cerebral palsy, but medical professionals say that other combinations are possible.
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