Hypertonic and Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
Doctors have called this the most common form of cerebral palsy diagnosed, which at times can be quite debilitating. This type of CP is characterized as having stiff muscles and spasticity in the muscles. Spasticity means that certain muscles are in continual contraction. This can interfere with movement, speech or gait. it is estimated that 80 percent of the cases within the United States are hypertonic cerebral palsy.
What Causes This Condition?
Like with all forms of CP, this happens as a result of brain damage that took place during birth. While adults can suffer brain damage later in life, they can’t develop cerebral palsy as a result of it, but they can be disabled in other ways. Brain damage can occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the causes of hypertonic cerebral palsy include:
- Infant stroke
- Maternal infections
How Is It Treated?
Treatment largely depends on the severity of the condition and which areas of the body are affected. Treatment varies from person to person. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe medications as a way of helping the child’s stiff muscles relax. There are some cases where the child does not have stiff muscles. In some cases, the child’s muscles may be overly relaxed, which leads to floppiness in their limbs and can be equally detrimental. While there are similarities among cases, every child will have different circumstances and therefore treatment will differ. In some cases, surgery may be recommended if the pain is significant, or the doctor believes that it could help the child to overcome a disability. The benefits must first outweigh the disadvantages, however, before the doctor will choose this route.
Often a physical therapist will be recommended, who can help your child increase the range of movement, improve muscle strength, and improve balance. While the road is a long one, you can often lower many of the effects felt by CP. It doesn’t have to be a debilitating condition. Many people who have had it have gone on to live happy and successful lives, which is the goal of treatment.
Some of the successful people who have had this birth injury include Dan Keplinger, Anne McDonald, Chris Nolan, Christy Brown, David Ring, and Abbey Nicole Curran. There are many people who have lived successful lives despite this birth disorder. CP in itself doesn’t worsen over time, but with hypotonic cerebral palsy, the hypotonia could worsen with time. This is a lifelong disability. With the proper management, however, you can address many of the negative side effects so that your child may live a happier and healthier life.
Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy Leads to Greater Chance of Autism
Cerebral palsy is one of the last things that you want to hear that your child has, but unfortunately, this birth injury strikes without prejudice. It can happen to anyone because of how it only takes someone to suffer brain damage at birth to develop this condition. Having hypotonic cerebral palsy could even increase your chances of developing autism. Doctors still don’t understand the link, but they believe that because of the similarities between the two conditions, they sometimes occur next to each other.