Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

This is the rarest form of Cerebral palsy, and it mainly affects the coordination and balance of the person. Additionally, the affected person may frequently shake as he walks.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy

In this case, affected babies show symptoms that are common to both spastic and dyskinetic cerebral palsy. The biggest of these is their inability to do something babies of their age normally do very easily such as sitting, walking, etc. Nevertheless, this alone is not enough to confirm that the child is suffering from CP, because these symptoms could actually be from another underlying issue. As mentioned earlier, the signs exhibited by different people vary drastically. However, there are some common red flags you should cautiously associate with possible cerebral palsy.

  • Too floppy or stiff muscles
  • Stiffened muscles with exaggerated reflexes, or spasticity
  • Ataxia or lack of muscle coordination
  • Involuntary movements like tremors
  • Athetosis or slow movements
  • Rigidity or stiff muscles with normal reflexes
  • Delay in crawling, sitting, kneeling, walking, etc, when compared to normal babies.
  • Only one part of the body is functioning. That is, most babies affected with cerebral palsy tend to walk while favoring one leg.
  • Abnormal walking patterns such as walking on the toes, asymmetrical gait, scissor-like gait, etc.
  • Swallowing issues
  • Excessive drooling
  • Delayed intellectual development
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Frequent seizures
  • Difficulty eating
  • Inability to carry out precise motions such as picking up things, tying knots, etc.

Risk Factors

There are many factors that can put your baby at higher risk of developing CP, including the ones listed below.

  • Rubella or German measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Syphilis
  • Zika virus infection
  • Thyroid issues

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step your pediatrician will take if he suspects your baby is suffering from CP is to set up a series of physical and intellectual tests. From your side, you would do well to ensure the doctor you chose is specialized in treating kids with nervous and brain system issues. Some of the tests which a family doctor may conduct to rule out other medical conditions include magnetic resonance imaging, cranial ultrasound, impairment tests for vision, speech, hearing, etc. When it comes to treatment, medication, physical therapies, occupational therapies, speech therapies, recreational therapies, etc, are commonly recommended by doctors.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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