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Health Law: Cerebral Palsy Law Blog
What is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?
By David Austin
Cerebral palsy is a disability that can alter the way the body is able to move and the muscle coordination. Many birth injuries result in cerebral palsy in children, which can have a huge impact on a child's future. Some main factors that can result in cerebral palsy include brain damage during birth, a lack of oxygen during delivery, and medical malpractice.
There are different types of cerebral palsy and ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common form of the condition. This type of cerebral palsy affects an estimated 5 to 10 percent of those with the disability.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Details
When the cerebellum is damaged it can lead to ataxic cerebral palsy. The cerebellum is in the base of the human brain and it serves as the control center for our sense of balance and coordination. Due to its influence over these different groups of muscles in the body, it can have a negative effect on the coordination and movement of a person. Not only does this type of cerebral palsy affect the limbs of the body, but it also affects the trunk.
Someone who is living with ataxic cerebral palsy typically has low muscle mass and a wide-based walk. Due to their poor sense of coordination and balance, they tend to walk with their feet far from each other and are very unsteady with their movements. Another trait associated with this condition is tremors.Someone with ataxic cerebral palsy typically shakes when trying to complete simple tasks like buttoning their shirt or reaching for a toy.
Treatments for Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
As with other forms of cerebral palsy there is no cure for ataxic cerebral palsy. However, there are treatments and therapies that can help ease some of the symptoms to help make life for those with the disability a bit easier. Certain medications can be prescribed to help with the shaking and uncontrollable movements of the limbs. Another form of treatment that is fairly new is called cooling. Cooling for cerebral palsy helps with tremors and is when the forearm is wrapped with a special circulating fluid. It's been found that this treatment can help calm tremors of the arm in individuals for about 30 minutes after cooling is done. This can make it easier for those with ataxic cerebral palsy to eat meals, write, and play for a short time without experiencing tremors.
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