Symptoms, Causes and the Cost of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

What is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy?

What is Athetoid?

Athetoid is a type of Cerebral Palsy that causes muscles to move uncontrollably. According to, Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is recognizable by loose movements that affect the whole body such as scratching a nose or holding a small object. It is because of this erratic and uncontrollable movement that Athetoid can also be referred to as dyskenetic cerebral palsy. People with Athedoid CP can have difficulty doing everyday tasks like using scissors and writing to not having the ability to walk.

Causes and Signs of Athetoid says Athetoid is caused when the basal ganglia, or cerebellum, located near the middle of the brain, is damaged. This area of the brain’s task is to process signals that enable smooth, coordinated movements and body posture control. It is estimated that Athetoid affects 25 percent of patients with cerebral palsy. Athetoid can also affect the cervical spine. This can lead to the child being highly-disabled. Other possible complications include:

• Hip dislocations

• Joint deformities

• Ankle equines

• Foot drop

Patients of Athetoid CP often times have difficulty controlling the muscles in the face, resulting in grimacing or drooling. Abnormal speech and hearing difficulty is also often associated with this type of CP.

Costly Needs for Athetoid Children

Caring for Athetoid children can be very expensive. Care requires the use of a lot of special equipment and tools. According to a news report from the Seattle Times, medical care can add up to millions of dollars. Of this money, some is for the child’s future income, pain and suffering and specialized equipment that improves the child’s quality of learning and living. Unfortunately, medical insurance and Medicaid do not provide for all that an Athetoid child needs in life. Some of the costs associated with Athetoid cerebral palsy include:

• Wheelchair – a manual wheelchair with an adaptive seat can cost as much as $3,500. An electric wheelchair can run anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000.

• Prone Stander – used to help children stand and can cost between $1,000 and $1,500.

• Communication System – children who are diagnosed with Athetoid have extreme difficulties talking. An augmentative system can cost up to $4,000.

• Transportation – to transport the child, a special van is needed. This can cost caregivers approximately $25,000.