What is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?

Have you ever seen a child that is unstable, shaky, or appears not to be well coordinated? This child may have ataxic cerebral palsy. Not all cerebral palsy sufferers are in wheelchairs are in walkers. Cerebral palsy displays a large number of symptoms that range from mild to extreme and ataxic palsy inflicts about 10% of all cerebral palsy sufferers.

Balance and Coordination

Ataxic cerebral palsy is considered an infliction that shows mild symptoms such as trembling, a wider gait, or an appearance of being uncoordinated. The sufferer may have trouble holding a pencil or grasping small objects. It may take the patient a little bit longer to complete simple tasks than their non-afflicted peers. The child may seem awkward while walking or running. While standing still, an observer can sometimes see the child shake resembling a senior citizen with motor problems. The trembling may be mild or severe according to the activity and muscles used during the activity

Damage to the cerebellum is usually the cause of ataxic cerebral palsy. Because the cerebellum plays an important role in balance and coordination, any damage would show phenotypical displays of the symptoms in the extremities of the patient. The extremities are most affected, but the trunk of the body can be influenced also. Without the proper balance and muscle support, the muscles grow with a very low tone.

There is no cure for ataxic palsy but there are treatments that relieve the symptoms. One treatment is called cooling. By wrapping the lower muscles of the arm or leg and cooling the muscles the child may have up to a half-hour of relief in the treated limb. This could reduce trembling in such a way that the patient can plan life activities around the treatment time. A regiment of treatment and then the activity can give the child a more normal life experience.

Scroll to Top