Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are 4 subtypes of Cerebral Palsy. The most common type of Cerebral Palsy is spastic and is seen in approximately 70-80% of the patients.

Spastic: Occurs due to damage in motor cortex. Muscles are rigid and tight.

Affected regions in spastic-type Cerebral Palsy

Spastic Cerebral Palsy may affect different parts of the body depending on the affected brain region:

Hemiplegic (Unilateral)
Only one side of the body (one arm and one leg) is affected.

Quadriplegic (Quadrilateral)
Both arms and legs are affected. Often trunk, face and oral muscles are also affected.

Diplegic (Bilateral) 
Both legs are affected. Arms may be affected to a limited extent.

Ataxic: Cerebellum damage interferes with balance of the individual. Movements are imbalanced, uncoordinated and tremulous.

Dyskinetic: It results from damage to neuron groups in the brain which regulate the flow and control of movement between cortex and cerebellum. Damage to this region impairs voluntary movements of the individual. Involuntary movements such as turning, bending and contractions are observed.

Mixed:The mixed type refers to co-existence of spastic, ataxic and dyskinetic types.

Classification of Gross Motor Functions in Cerebral Palsy:

This is a classification developed to describe the effects of Cerebral Palsy on daily life of individuals. Gross Motor Functions Classification System (GMFCS) developed by the CanChild Research Center in Canada categorizes Cerebral Palsy in 5 different levels:

Level I: Able to walk without any restriction but experiences problems with running and jumping.

Level II: Able to walk with minimum support or crutches. Experiences limited movement restriction in daily life.

Level III: Requires a walker or crutches to walk. Experiences movement restriction in daily life.

Level IV: Requires support to walk or use walker and needs a wheelchair for movement.

Level V: Movement is highly restricted. Requires help for aid tools and their adaptation.