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Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

Hypotonia means diminished muscle tone. Hypotonic cerebral palsy is less common than spastic cerebral palsy. The primary treatment is physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and correct posture. Speech difficulty, problems with swallowing and compromised breathing can also be helped by different therapies.

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy Hypotonia

Patients with hypotonic cerebral palsy have

  • Floppy limbs
  • Poor posture
  • Cannot hold up their heads
  • Walk with difficulty

All of these symptoms in patients with hypnotic cerebral palsy are due to poor muscle tone. Lack of muscle tone also can compromise:

  • Reflexes
  • Joints
  • Speech
  • Breathing
  • Swallowing

However, hypotonic cerebral palsy does not affect intelligence.

Causes of Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

The cause of this disorder, like the cause of other forms of cerebral palsy, is related to injury in the fetal brain. The damage causing hypotonia usually occurs in the cerebellum, located in the lower part of the brain behind the brain stem. This part of the brain controls balance and coordination.

Imaging scans can be used to verify a diagnosis of hypotonic cerebral palsy. When oxygen fails to reach the cerebellum, this brain tissue is damaged or dies. Some situations that can damage the cerebellum include:

  • Exposure to infection and toxins
  • Strokes in the fetus caused by bleeding of weak blood vessels or by blockage of the vessels by blood clots
  • High blood pressure or pelvic inflammatory disease in the mother can cause strokes in the fetus

Help for Parents

If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, our birth injury lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation. To learn more, schedule a free case review today.