The movement disorder athetoid cerebral palsy (also widely recognized as “dyskinetic cerebral palsy”) is associated with damage to the developing brain. Children with athetoid CP experience hypertonia and hypotonia. The term hypertonia refers to abnormally high muscle tone that causes muscle stiffness and tension. Hypotonia is a term used to describe abnormally low muscle tone that results in muscle “floppiness.” CP symptoms are caused by trouble controlling muscle tone. Athetoid CP can also cause problems with muscle movement in the feet, legs hands, and arms, making it difficult to walk or hold objects. This type of cerebral palsy is treated with a variety of therapeutic approaches, medications, and surgeries that can assist in managing symptoms and preventing potential complications.
Types of Athetoid CP
Based on the precise kind of uncontrollable movement, there may be other classifications for athetoid cerebral palsy.
Athetoid CP comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Chorea: Spontaneous involuntary movements, particularly in the fingers and toes.
- Athetosis: Slow, writhing twitches, primarily in the fingers and face, are known as athetosis.
- Choreoathetoid: A mixture of chorea and athetosis.
- Ataxia: Lack of coordination and balance is known as ataxia.
- Dystonia: It is characterized by slow, torso, arm, or leg rotation.
- Rigidity: Increased muscle tone brought on by hypertonia creates rigidity, which limits movement.
- Dyskinesia: Involuntary motions are referred to as dyskinesia. For this reason, the terms athetoid CP and dyskinetic CP are frequently used simultaneously.
Causes of Athetoid CP
One of the many mobility problems brought on by brain damage is athetoid cerebral palsy. Depending on whatever area of the brain is harmed, there are many types of cerebral palsy. Some of the common causes of athetoid CP include damaged basal ganglia (a group of neurons in the brain). The basal ganglia are the part of the brain that helps in motor function and cognition. Another cause of athetoid CP can be cerebellum damage. The cerebellum is an important part of the brain that helps in coordination and precise movements. It is also an essential part responsible for thinking and learning. A damaged cerebellum can also lead to some other disorders like autism and epilepsy.
Symptoms of Athetoid CP
The symptoms of athetoid CP can vary from person to person depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the common symptoms of athetoid CP are:
- Sudden movements
- Twisting torso
- Bad posture
- Muscle stiffness
- Problem in balancing
Treatment for Athetoid CP
Presently, there is no cure for athetoid CP. However, some therapies can help children in becoming independent and boost their confidence. These therapies include:
Physical therapy for CP includes a series of exercises to strengthen the muscles and help the children with CP in mobility. Physiotherapists use different types of exercises to help the patient in developing muscle strength and avoid any further problems associated with the condition.
Speaking can be a challenge for those affected by athetoid CP. Speech Therapy helps the patients in managing the problems associated with speech. Speech therapists assist the patients in controlling their facial muscle tones and breathing through several exercises.
Occupational Therapy helps children with their everyday tasks like playing, learning, writing, and holding objects with some assistive equipment. This help in the overall development of the children affected with CP.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cell Therapy has been found to be effective in managing athetoid CP as they target the damaged neurons in the brain and rejuvenate them. Stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy provides great support in reducing the inflammation in the brain and controlling movements. This therapy is one of the long-term solutions to managing athetoid CP.