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MRI scan results

Becky1827Becky1827 Member Posts: 4
Our little girl has just turned 3 and has mobility difficulties. She can walk very short distances but has poor co-ordination and balance. We had been told she was likely to have Ataxic CP, but following a recent MRI scan, which was normal, have now been told it is probably not CP. When reading a description of Ataxic CP it is like reading a description of her! We are now very puzzled and considering asking for a second opinion. We are not desperate for a label but feel an explanation for her ataxic movement/tremor would be helpful. Has anybody had anything similar? Thanks


  • RockyRocky Member Posts: 76 Listener

    Hi Becky, Ataxia refers to the co-ordination of movement and muscles. It can be classed as a condition in its own right but is also a type of cerebral palsy.  It is fairly common for a child to have cerebral palsy but it will not be visible on an MRI Scan (this can happen in about 10% of cases).  Cerebral palsy will be diagnosed because the doctors see a group of conditions or impairment that taken as a whole lead them to a diagnosis.  It could be that there was not enough evidence on the scan to lead the doctors into a firm diagnosis of cerebral palsy.  The Ataxia therefore describes how she is effected and her movements.  Ataxic movements are normally caused by damage to the cerebellum area of the brain.

    I think it would be worth having further discussions with your daughter's Paediatrician or Neurologist to explore your questions and ask why they are saying what they are.  They may even be able to explain how they have reached this decision by letting you look at the scans whilst they explain what they are looking for. If you are still not satisfied, you can ask for a second opinion.

    You may also find the following website helpful:

    Is you daughter receiving any physiotherapy or treatments to strengthen her muscles and help co-ordination?

  • Becky1827Becky1827 Member Posts: 4
    Hi thanks for your response. Yes she has a lot of different therapies.
  • Becky1827Becky1827 Member Posts: 4
    Sorry meant to also say we have contacted our paediatrician and neurology consultant to discuss things further.
  • renacahillrenacahill Member Posts: 145
    Not everything cP related will show on MRI scans. There are specialised ones which are more detailed but not sure if they are available here. However if it is not obviously CP then they need to look more carefully at whether she has a genetic condition which needs treating differently. If there was a traumatic birth or prematurity it is more likely to be CP however.
  • RockyRocky Member Posts: 76 Listener
    It is true that CP is more common around time of birth and in premature and low birth weight babies but CP can also occur after birth and up until the child is 4 or 5. This is why it is referred to as a condition affecting the immature brain and immature is up to the age of 5 so for example a serious illness or accident when a child is young can result in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. It is also true that injury to the brain will not be demonstrated on an MRI scan yet the child can and will have a diagnosis of CP.
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