Understanding the Different Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of neurological disorders that can affect a person's motor and cognitive functions, making it difficult for them to move in a coordinated and deliberate manner. It is classified according to the type of movement affected, the parts of the body affected, and the severity of the symptoms. There are five main types of cerebral palsy: spastic, ataxic, athetoid, hypotonic, and mixed. The most common type of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy.

It is often caused by damage to the cerebral cortex and results in increased muscle tone and spasticity. This means that muscles are abnormally stiff, tense, or even sore due to prolonged muscle contraction. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy, also known as non-spastic or athetoid cerebral palsy, is another type of cerebral palsy. It is caused by damage to the basal ganglia, which are responsible for motor control, motor learning, and emotions.

Children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy may experience involuntary spasms and have difficulty controlling arm and leg movements. They may also have difficulty speaking, swallowing, and sucking due to facial muscle problems.


cerebral palsy directly affects a child's depth perception and balance. People who have this form of cerebral palsy often find it difficult to walk steadily and have difficulty performing faster or more precise movements.

Mixed cerebral palsy combines aspects of the other forms. A child with mixed cerebral palsy may experience unusual movement patterns along with motor coordination problems. Mixed-type cerebral palsy occurs when a child has symptoms of two or more types of cerebral palsy. Hypotonic cerebral palsy is classified by low muscle tone that causes loss of strength and firmness, resulting in sagging muscles. No test can identify cerebral palsy on its own, but by looking at a child's movements, reflexes, growth, and muscle tone it is possible to identify these forms of dyskinetic cerebral palsy before age two. If your baby is missing important milestones and you suspect that he may have cerebral palsy, it's important to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis. There is no cure for cerebral palsy but there are treatments that can help a child live with it.