What is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy and How is it Caused?

Understand What Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is and How it is Caused from Our Minneapolis Birth Injury Lawyer


Cerebral palsy is an brain disorder caused by damage to the brain.  The damage is focused on the brain’s cerebrum, which is the center part of the brain which regulars motor function (movement).  Cerebral palsy is a brain injury which affects the voluntary movement of certain parts of the body due to injury of the cerebrum.  Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the damage to the brain.  Some rehabilitation or therapy can be used to help improve the quality of life and ability of an individual with cerebral palsy to function and move while overcoming the disability, but damage to the brain is irreversible and there is no cure.  Individuals with well-managed cerebral palsy will have a near-normal life expectancy.


Athetoid cerebral palsy is a different type of cerebral palsy which commonly results in abnormal and involuntary movement.  Damage to the brain here is usually caused to the basal ganglia and/or the cerebellum, in addition to the cerebrum.  Severity of the disability depends on the extent of the damage.  Again, some forms of rehabilitation and therapy can be used to help improve the quality of life for an individual diagnosed with Athetoid cerebral palsy.


There are several different types of athetoid cerebral palsy.  This include the following:


  • Ataxia – characterized by a loss of balance and coordination, or an inability to regular balance and coordination;
  • Athetosis – characterized by sluggish and writhing movements, generally in the fingers, toes, and/or face;
  • Chorea – characterized by sudden and involuntary movements usually in the digits (fingers and toes);
  • Choreoathetoid – a combination of chorea and athetosis;
  • Dystonia – characterized by slow, rotational movement of the torso, arms, or legs (may affect only one arm or leg, or both);
  • Rigidity – high muscle tone resulting in restricted movement; and
  • Dyskinesia – the general term for at athetoid cerebral palsy which does not necessarily fit into one of the other classification but there is documents basic ganglia and cerebellum damage.


Causes of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy


All cerebral palsy cases involve damage to the brain and to the cerebrum.  Athetoid cerebral palsy cases have damage to the basal ganglia and cerebellum.  The basal ganglia is a bundle of nerves which govern voluntary movement and coordination.  They are located in the cerebral cortex which is a larger structure responsible for controlling motor function (movement).  This is why damage to the basal ganglia causes motor function issues.


Further, athetoid cerebral palsy includes damage to the cerebellum.  This is the structure in the brain which governs fine motor skills, coordination, and balance.  When this is damaged, all of these tasks and fine motor movement becomes much more difficult.  It is common for individuals with cerebellum damage to also have disorders such as autism or epilepsy.


These areas of the brain and be damaged in several different ways.  These include the follow common ways:


  • Trauma to the brain;
  • Lack of oxygen to a developing brain such as cord impingement or rupture, or other birthing complications;
  • Infections like meningitis;
  • Medical malpractice during the prenatal or birthing process, including improper use of forceps or a vacuum, delayed c-section, or using too many drugs/medications near or during labor; and
  • Many other causes.


Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Can be Debilitating and Will be Life Changing: Call Our Minneapolis Birth Injury Lawyer to Learn About the Cause of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy in Your Child


There is no risk to call Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn more about athetoid cerebral palsy and how it may have been caused by a medical professional’s negligence.  Our Minnesota birth injury lawyer handles causes throughout the State, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, and many other cities.  So please dial (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation may be and to schedule your free appointment.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.   There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.


We also handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  Our Oregon office number is (541) 385-1999.  

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