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Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid cerebral palsy is an irreversible condition in which brain damage to the midbrain (basal ganglia) causes patients to experience involuntary movements and abnormal muscle tone. Around 25 percent of all cerebral palsy cases are diagnosed as athetoid cerebral palsy, also known as dyskenetic cerebral palsy.

Athetoid cerebral palsy (also called dyskinetic) results from damage to the cerebellum or basal ganglia. Patients with athetoid cerebral palsy have muscles that fluctuate between being too tight and too weak, causing protracted spasms. Athetoid cerebral palsy is characterized by slow, uncontrolled movements that resemble writhing. Patients with athetoid cerebral palsy have difficulty sitting or standing, due to their weak trunks. In more severe cases, athetoid cerebral palsy involves the muscles of the face, causing drooling and grimacing. Patients with athetoid cerebral palsy generally experience increased movements during periods of emotional distress. People with athetoid cerebral palsy have difficulty moving their hands to a certain spot or holding on to objects. Athetoid cerebral palsy affects 10-20% of cerebral palsy patients. Generally speaking, athetoid cerebral palsy involves the entire body, rather than being restricted to one region. Within the athetoid cerebral palsy community, a large percentage of individuals have been identified as having above average intelligence. Athetoid cerebral palsy should not be confused with adult onset dystonia, although the symptoms are the same-athetoid cerebral palsy is not degenerative in nature, while adult onset dystonia is. People who suffer from athetoid cerebral palsy may be given medication to reduce abnormal movements and drooling.

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Symptoms of athetoid cerebral palsy are generally caused by an inability to control muscles' states of being tense versus relaxed. In most cases, cerebral palsy athetoid symptoms include some combination of:

  • drooling
  • eating difficulties
  • grimacing
  • difficultly holding posture (particularly with walking, sitting or doing anything that necessitates an upright posture)
  • problems holding objects (such as pencils, eating utensils, etc.)
  • slow, constant, writhing movements (While such involuntary movements typically affect the hands, arms, feet or legs, occasionally, they can also occur in the face or tongue.)
  • speech problems (due to an inability to control the tongue and vocal cords)

Typically, athetoid cerebral palsy symptoms worsen when a patient endures increased emotional stress. Minimal, if any, cerebral palsy symptoms are displayed when patients sleep.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy Athetoid Disorder

As with other types of cerebral palsy, athetoid cerebral palsy can be caused by a range of factors including:

  • fetal developmental complications
  • genetic factors
  • head injury to the fetus or newborn
  • infections, such as meningitis, affecting a pregnant mother
  • severe, untreated jaundice in infants
  • seizure or thyroid disorder in a pregnant mother
  • medical mistakes made before, during or after the birthing process

Lifetime Benefits Available for Medical Malpractice-Related Injuries

When medical mistakes cause athetoid cerebral palsy, affected patients and families will be entitled to compensation for their childrens:

  • hospital bills
  • ongoing treatment costs
  • future living expenses
  • permanent disabilities
  • pain and suffering

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Medical and Legal Help

It's vital that families and patients pursue all prescribed care, including ongoing and long-term treatment programs. Since no cure currently exists for athetoid cerebral palsy, treatments for cerebral palsy will involve managing and minimizing symptoms to help patients live as independently as possible.

Possible athetoid cerebral palsy treatments can include:

  • anti-epileptic medications
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • support groups
  • assistive technologies (including state-of-the-art computer programs, specialized telephones, etc.)
  • palliative care (the use of devices, such as hearing aids and motorized wheelchairs, to improve patients' quality of life)

Along with following through with all necessary treatments, families should also meet with an athetoid cerebral palsy lawyer to find out if:

  • Medical mistakes caused their child's athetoid cerebral palsy
  • Families are entitled to compensation for their child's injuries

During a free initial consultation, prospective plaintiffs will learn more about the process of pursuing a cerebral palsy lawsuit, get estimates of possible settlements, based on prior cases similar to their own and get advice, from an experienced athetoid cerebral palsy attorney, about whether filing an individual claim or joining a class action cerebral palsy lawsuit is best for their needs and situation.

Has your child been born with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy? If so, contact a cerebral palsy attorney today to find out if you have a case and are entitled to compensation for your child's permanent disabilities, suffering and medical bills.

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