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Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

Updated on October 26, 2015

Ataxic cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is the consequence of experiencing damage to the brain, usually during the process of carrying a baby, delivering a baby, or immediate after care. There are times when it can happen a little later than that; but that is the exception and not the way it normally happens. So with ataxic cerebral palsy, that is the case as well, which is the most rare of all cerebral palsy symptoms, representing between five to ten percent of all victims.

Tthere are different symptoms of cerebral palsy, depending on the area of brain the damage occurs in. For ataxic cerebral palsy, the damage is in the base of stem of the brain, which is the area that controls a person's balance and coordination.

Unless a person has mixed cerebral palsy, which is a combination of more than one group of symptoms of cerebral palsy, or more than one part of the brain being damaged, a person with ataxic cerebral palsy will battle primarily with issues of balance and coordination.

Child with ataxic cerebral palsy

Symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy

The outward symptoms of ataxic cerbral palsy are usually shaking while walking. You've probably seen this with people with cerebral palsy as they struggle down the sidewalk or wherever they're walking.

Another symtom is there will be a significant shaking when a person attempts to grab or do something very specific, like buttoning a shirt or trying to pick up a spoon. 

Ataxic cerebral palsy is hypotonic

All hypotonic means is that someone with ataxic cerebral palsy has low muscle tone.

So when we talked about someone being very shaky when they're walking, that means that the body battles to try to counter-balance the low muscle tone, which is seen through the shaky movements as the person attempts to walk. 

Ataxic cerebral palsy affects all four limbs

Similar to spastic diplegia cerabral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy affects the arms and the legs of the person with it. The trunk of the body will also suffer from loss of of muscle tone as well.

Again, all of this is the result of the specific place where the brain is damaged: the base. 

Treatments for ataxic cerebral palsy

For those with ataxic cerebral palsy, there is hope, as there are several treatments available which will help reduce the effects of the weak muscle tone, and help people with the disorder function far better than they would have not that long ago. 

You can make it in the midst of ataxic cerebral palsy

As I've mentioned in some of my other articles on cerebral palsy, I have an adult son who has mixed cerebral palsy (more than one set of symptoms), and going through life with it isn't a death sentence for them or for the family or parents.

Of course there are challenges, but they can be met if you don't feel guilty about taking some occasional time off, be willing to sacrifice to make things work, and have a support group around you of some type to help you along the way.  


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A good friend of mine has this type of CP and I am trying to find out as much as I can so if he is in shock, I know what to do and I won't just stand there like a lemon!!

      When I first heard that he had CP I was really shocked as it hasn't affected him as much as some people and I said to him that he was really lucky that he was affected as much and he just shrugged his shoulders and I thought, even though you seem like you don't care, a little part of you must be crying your eyes out.

      I'm really happy that this has been put to peoples attention as I think that ordinary people should help the disabled to live a joyful, happy and exciting life and we should see to it that they have the best time ever!!!!!

    • profile image

      Adrian Levy 

      7 years ago

      cerebral palsy is exceptionally tough to live with. Congratulations on constructing a proper site to tell others of this horrible problem.

    • hebaeraky profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for your helpful article, I'm following your posts and I found it is all valuable for cerebral palsy parents and caregivers, Looking forward to visit my post and give your opinion;

    • profile image


      8 years ago



    • Kimmie10 profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you so much for posting up this article. I was born with this kind of CP, and all my life, I wanted to read and learn as much as I can about it. All of my doctors through out my life haven't helped me much about this.


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