Athetoid cerebral palsy is characterized by slow, writhing, involuntary muscle movement and a mixed muscle tone. Making up 25% of all cerebral palsy cases, athetoid cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the basal ganglia.
The slow, involuntary movements associated with athetoid cerebral palsy typically affect the hands, feet, arms and legs. In some children, however, athetoid cerebral palsy can also impair the muscles of the face and tongue, resulting in grimacing and drooling. In the most severe cases, involuntary movements and uncontrollable muscles tone fluctuations affect the entire body.
Uncontrollable and unwanted movements related to athetoid cerebral palsy are most commonly caused by the patient’s muscles, which alternate between floppy and tense. This can cause the child to have difficulty holding posture. Children with athetoid cerebral palsy may struggle when standing, sitting or walking. This can delay and even prevent the child from having control over their mobility.
Children with athetoid cerebral palsy may also have difficulty:
- Controlling the vocal cords
- Holding onto objects, such as pens or eating utensils
After a diagnosis is made, athetoid cerebral palsy treatment should begin immediately. Treatment of athetoid cerebral palsy is based on the patient’s particular symptoms. For instance, routine motion exercises can help prevent muscles from becoming weak or rigidly fixed from contracture. Speech therapy, on the other hand, can help speech-impaired patients control their swallowing and communication. To learn more about treatment options for cerebral palsy, speak with your doctor.
If your child was born with athetoid cerebral palsy, medical negligence may be to blame. Fill out our free case review form on the right to speak with a birth injury attorney today. You may be eligible to recover compensation for the extensive treatment and care needed for children with athetoid cerebral palsy.