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Cerebral Palsy Interventions

Types of cerebral palsy

Type Spastic (most common type) Dyskinetic Ataxic Mixed
Cause – mechanisms of neurological dysfunction 1. Pyramidal disturbance (upper motor neurons or UMN)
2. No corticospinal inhibition, so the spinal cord is more influential.
Extrapyramidal disturbance (lower motor neurons or LMN) Dysfunction in the cerebellum Pyramidal and extrapyramidal mechanisms
Presentation A. Positive Babinski sign.

B. Affected areas of the body.
1. Spastic diplegia – legs affected more than arms
2. Spastic quadriplegia – all limbs, trunk, muscles to mouth, tongue and pharynx are involved
3. Spastic hemiplegia – one side of the body is more involved than the other, arm is more involved than the leg

One or more of the following symptoms may be observed:

1. Chorea – jerky movement that is random and rapid

2. Athetosis – writhing movements

3. Choreoathetosis – both chorea and athetosis are present

4. Dystonia – postures are distorted, repetitive, twisted movements

The following symptoms may be observed:

1. Jerky and uncoordinated movements

2. Imbalanced position of trunk and limbs during voluntary movement

3. Difficulty timing movements

4. May or may not have decreased muscle tone

Multiple patterns of movement

Associated Impairments

Impairment Description
Intellectual Disability – affects 30 to 50% of children with cerebral palsy. 1. Impairments in cognitive function, including attention span, memory, comprehension, decision making, problem solving, processing speed, and language.
2. People with more severe cerebral palsy are more likely to have intellectual impairments.
Visual Impairments 1. Ocular – strabismus
2. Central – cortical visual impairment
3. Retinopathy of prematurity
4. Nystagmus – involuntary oscillating eye movements (may be present with ataxia)
5. Homonymous hemianopsia – visual field cut (may be present with hemiplegia)
6.Hyperopia – far sightedness
Hearing, speech and language – affects about 30% of children with cerebral palsy 1. Articulation difficulties
2. Expressive or receptive language problems
3. Reading difficulties

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