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Mixed Cerebral Palsy - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claim

There are several variations of cerebral palsy (CP), including spastic CP, ataxic CP and athetoid CP. Each one of these conditions provides challenges and is debilitating in and of itself; however, some people suffer with a combination of the different forms of CP. This condition, known as mixed cerebral palsy, affects nearly 10 percent of all cerebral palsy cases and is defined as any individual who has a combination of two or more forms of CP.

Children diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy typically have a combination of involuntary movements, as is associated with athetoid CP, as well as tight muscle tone, as is associated with spastic CP. This form of mixed CP is attributable to injuries to the pyramidal and extra pydramidal areas of the brain. More specifically, the characteristics associated with mixed CP where athetoid symptoms are present are caused by damage that occurs in the cerebellum’s basal ganglia. This area of the brain is in charge of signal processing, which allow the body to make smooth, coordinated movements, such as walking or holding a steady posture. Any type of injury to this area of the brain can lead to a child developing involuntary movements, which affect the trunk of the body, the arms, the legs and, even, the face.

The symptoms associated with spastic CP are more obvious, however, the involuntary movements related to the athetoid CP will increase between the ages of nine months and three years old. It is common for months or years to go by before all of the symptoms associated with mixed CP become evident. While the most common form of mixed cerebral palsy involves spastic CP and athetoid CP symptoms, other combinations of the condition are possible. Any combination of CP forms can develop. The least common mixture is ataxic CP and athetoid CP. It is also possible to have a combination of all three of the major CP forms (spastic, ataxic and athetoid). As previously stated, the most common combination making up mixed cerebral palsy is spastic CP and athetoid CP. Spastic CP is characterized by tight muscles significantly limiting a person’s movement. This results in a very stiff appearance, along with jerky movements. Moving from one position to another is quite difficult, as is holding on to or letting go of common objects.

The involuntary movements associated with mixed cerebral palsy indicate the body’s muscle groups are not under proper control of the brain. These involuntary movements are a form of muscle twitch caused by electrical stimulation to the muscle. People suffering with mixed CP experience this stimulation on a nearly continual basis, keeping them from being able to carry out normal functions. Individuals with mixed cerebral palsy often find these involuntary movements prevent them from speaking properly, holding on to or reaching for objects, as well as performing other basic skills that require coordination. Tongue thrusting, facial grimaces and drooling can also result from mixed CP, leading to difficultly speaking, eating and swallowing. The symptoms associated with mixed CP tend to become worse when the individual becomes anxious or stressed and completely disappear while they are asleep.

Mixed cerebral palsy can be somewhat hard to treat when the patient has severe symptoms. Mixed CP is not always evident right away, and may not present until the later stages of childhood development. It is very important regular checkups be scheduled in order to spot symptoms as soon as possible. Once the symptoms are diagnosed, treatment plans can be designed to provide the child with the best possible therapy.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here