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Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

Athetoid, or dyskinetic, cerebral palsy affects approximately 10 to 20 percent of children affected by cerebral palsy. This form of cerebral palsy is characterized by involuntary, purposeless, writhing movements. These abnormal movements typically affect the limbs: the hands, feet, arms, and legs. They interfere with reaching, grasping, and other skills requiring coordinated movements. In some cases, these abnormal movements affect the muscles of the face and tongue, resulting in involuntary grimacing and tongue thrusting that may lead to swallowing problems, drooling. These children may also experience problems with speech, a condition known as dysarthria.

The abnormal movements often increase during periods of emotional stress and disappear when the child is sleeping.

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