"Cerebral palsy" is a catchall term for a variety of disorders that affect a child's ability to move and to maintain balance. These disorders are caused by a brain injury that occurs before birth, during birth, or within the first few years after birth. The injury does not damage the child's muscles or the nerves connecting them to the spinal cord --- only the brain's ability to control the muscles. Depending on it's location and severity, the brain injury that causes a child's movement disorders may also cause other problems. These problems include mental retardation, seizures, language disorders, learning disabilities, and vision and hearing problems.
HIGH TONE(SPASTICITY). Children with increased tone are said to have high tone,hypertonia, or spasticity. If your child has high muscle tone, her movements will be stiff and awkward because her muscles are too tight and their tone is not balanced.
LOW TONE Children with decreased tone are said to have low tone, hypotonia, or floppiness. If your child has low muscle tone, she has trouble maintaining positions without support because her muscles do not contract enough and are too relaxed.
FLUCTUATING TONE Children who have a combination of high tone and low tone are said to have fluctuating or variable muscle tone. If your child has fluctuating tone, her muscle tone may be low when she is at rest but then increase to high tone with active movement.
PYRAMIDAL(spastic)CEREBRAL PALSY. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy. It affects about half of all children with cerebral palsy. Children with this type of cerebral palsy have one or more tight muscle groups which limit movement.
EXTRAPYRAMIDAL(choreo-athetoid)CEREBRAL PALSY. Roughly one quarter of children with cerebral palsy have this type of cerebralpalsy. With this type of cerebral palsy there may be involuntary movement, purposeless movements, especially of the face,arms and trunk. Also they may have low muscle tone and have problems maintaining posture for sitting and walking.
MIXED-TYPE CEREBRAL PALSY. About one quarter of children with cerebral palsy have a combination of both types of cerebral palsy and are classified as having mixed-type cerebral palsy.
MONOPLEGIA-- Affects only 1 limb on one side of the body. Movement impairments usually are mild and often disappear with time. Monoplegia is very rare.
DIPLEGIA-- Diplegia means that the cerebral palsy mainly affects a childs legs.
HEMIPLEGIA-- In hemiplegia, one side of the childs body is affected by cerebral palsy.
QUADRIPLEGIA-- When cerebral palsy affects a childs whole body- with the legs and feet more affected.
Double Hemiplegia-- Like quadriplegia, Double hemiplegia affects the whole body. The differece is that the childs arms not legs are most affected.