Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is divided into three broad categories, depending on the location of the brain injury, as follows:

  1. Spastic cerebral palsy - This type of cerebral palsy is the most common type and affects about 80% of all children with cerebral palsy. Children with this type of cerebral palsy experience tightness which limits movement in one or more muscle groups.
  2. Choreo-athetoid cerebral palsy - This type of cerebral palsy affects about 10% of children with cerebral palsy. Children with this type of cerebral palsy may experience involuntary, purposeless movements, especially in the face, arms, and trunk. These movements often interfere with speaking, feeding, reaching, grasping, and other skills requiring coordinated movements. These children often have low muscle tone and have problems maintaining posture for sitting and walking.
  3. Mixed-type cerebral palsy - This type of cerebral palsy affects about 10% of children with cerebral palsy. Children with this type of cerebral palsy have a combination of both spastic muscle tone and involuntary movements.

The severity of these motor problems and the parts of the body affected vary greatly with each child.