Types of Cerebral Palsy - Topic Overview
Cerebral palsy (CP) is classified according to the
type of body movement and posture problem.
Spastic (pyramidal) cerebral palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type.
A person with spastic CP develops tight muscles in some
parts of the body that are unable to relax. Affected joints become stiff and
hard to move. Usually, a person has problems controlling movements, poor
coordination and balance, and difficulty talking and eating.
There are four types of spastic CP, grouped according to how many
limbs are affected.
- Hemiplegia or diplegia:
One arm and one leg on the same side of the body (hemiplegia) or both legs
(diplegia or paraplegia) are affected. These are the most common types of
spastic cerebral palsy.
- Monoplegia: Only one
arm or leg is affected.
- Quadriplegia: Both arms and both
legs are affected. Usually the trunk and muscles that control the mouth,
tongue, and windpipe are affected too. This makes eating and talking
difficult. Babies with spastic quadriplegia may:
- Have problems sucking and
- Have a weak or shrill cry.
- Have a very
relaxed and floppy body or a very stiff body. When held, they may arch their
backs and extend their arms and legs.
- Be irritable and jittery when
awake. For example, they may startle easily.
- Sleep a lot or show
little interest in what is going on around them.
- Triplegia: Either both
arms and one leg or both legs and one arm are affected.