Cerebral Palsy: Types and Goals

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a wide term, commonly described by loss or impairment of motor function due to abnormal development of brain. In adults, CP may occur due to brain atrophy, accident to brain. In children, cerebral palsy may occur before, during, or immediately after birth. CP in children is due to abnormal development of brain immediately after birth. Cerebral palsy may be congenital. Usually premature infants and those born with very low weight are very prone to CP.

Upon the disability caused by CP, CP is categorized into three types.

1. Ataxic cerebral palsy: In this, the portion of brain which controls the motor skills is damaged making problems in movement. The patient has difficulty in typing or writing which requires small motor skills. Body balance may be a problem while walking. The muscles become stiff, making movement difficult.

2. Athetoid cerebral palsy: It is due to the damage to the basal ganglia, located in the mid-brain. The patient may have involuntary and uncontrolled movements. The patient appears to be restless and moving. However symptoms usually tend to disappear during sleep but usually increase under emotional stress.

3. Ataxic cerebral palsy: This type of cerebral palsy is due to the damage of cerebellum which controls the body balance and coordination. The patient usually has poor muscle tone. Balance is the problem while walking, making difficult to walk or stand.

Treatment of CP

Although the main cause of cerebral palsy is the brain injury in adults or premature development of brain in children, which cannot be fully healed. A lot range of treatments and therapies are done. As each patient’s impairment is unique and differential so there is no any universal treatment which exits. Different kinds of methods are used worldwide, which up to somewhat extent have shown better treatment effects. However the goals of all these methods are to:

  • Maximize mobility.
  • Better social life.
  • Maximize self-care.
  • Increase flexibility and maintain muscle strength.
  • Reduce daily complications.
  • Pain Control.
  • Avoiding Brain injury and malfunction.