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Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common form of cerebral palsy, affecting five to ten percent of patients with the disorder. It is caused by a damaged cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination. As a result, patients in with ataxic cerebral palsy suffer from poor balance and coordination. In addition, they have poor or low muscle tone, which is why they may be described as looking droopy or limp. These physiological problems manifest themselves in ways described below.

  • Unsteady gait: People with ataxic CP tend to walk with their feet abnormally far apart because of their poor balance.
  • Dysmetria: This describes a patient’s difficulty keeping their limbs steady.
  • Intention tremor: Voluntary movements such as reaching for an object or writing can bring on tremors.
  • Titubation: Ataxic cerebral palsy sufferers, due to their poor muscle tone, constantly try to maintain balance. It results in their trunk wobbling.
  • Poor facial muscle control: Occasionally, ataxic cerebral palsy affects facial muscles, resulting in symptoms such as uneven speech patterns and abnormal eye movements.

What causes it?

Ataxic cerebral palsy is usually the result of abnormal prenatal development or childbirth, although some children develop it from brain infection or injury. Congenital cerebral palsy, which is present at birth, is commonly caused by:

  • Infection
  • Jaundice
  • Blood type incompatibility between mother and child
  • Oxygen shortage to the brain
  • Head trauma suffered during labor/delivery

According to the website Cerebral Palsy Source, a person with cerebral palsy requires $1 million more for adequate care compared to a person without the disability. While it can be difficult to prove that a medical professional’s negligence led to cerebral palsy, the fact is that many cases are preventable. In light of the incredibly high medical costs associated with cerebral palsy, you owe it to yourself to speak with a birth injury lawyer in Erie or Pittsburgh.

Over 30 years of experience as Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers

If you have any reason to suspect that your child’s cerebral palsy resulted from medical negligence, contact The McClelland Law Group. Our Pittsburgh birth injury lawyers will answer your questions, help you understand your rights and determine what legal action, if any, is right for you.