HealthBoards (
-   Cerebral Palsy (
-   -   Adult Diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia (

ArtChick 09-01-2003 06:18 PM

Adult Diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia
Hi, I'm a 49 yr old female with diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia. My first Neurologist appt. she confirmed my self-diagnosis of Restless Leg Syndrome, but she also found some abnormal reflexes and used the words Clonus and Spasticity. She sent me in for 2 MRIís that eventually turned out to be a total of 4 MRIís. Everything looked fine except my central canal in my neck was enlarged. She asked me on both visits if my mother had a difficult birth and I donít know if she did or not. She died a couple of years ago and I just canít answer that question. She also commented that my gait seemed normal. She prescribed .5 Ė of Klonopin and it almost completely stopped what I thought was RLS. Second appointment she said I didnít have RLS but Spastic Diplegia and thatís what the medication was treating. NEVER did she mention CP.

My question is, does Spastic Diplegia always mean that itís a type of CP? If I have CP, how is it that this wasnít discovered until now? I keep reading about babies and children, nothing about ADULT ONSET CP. Does anyone know anything about this? There isnít much on the web that I can find. Iím not sure what to think of this and what it might mean for the future.

Any help would be kindly appreciated, Christine aka ArtChick

CPer 09-02-2003 05:25 PM

Yes & No. CP can be a catch-all phrase for several things, but it's usually limited to the RESULTS of a prenatal stroke, hypoxia during birth or some sort of pre/neo natal neurological event. The "palsy" is the net effect of one of these traumas.

Affected "hemispheres" are usually both arms or both legs (dipharesis), the right or left side of the body (hemipharesis) or all four quadrants (quadrapharesis). The old suffix was "plegia", as in your dx: diplegia. Since plegia means paralysis, the new and improved suffix indicates "weakness" (sort of).

There are two other general catagories: Spastic CP and Athetoid CP. Spasticity refers to muscular rigidity and shorter range-of-motion than normal. Athetoid CP is marked by uncontrollable motions-Wheeless' calls them "writhing motions".

When your neuro found abnormal reflexes, she probably found that whacking your elbow or knee with a reflex hammer produced a very strong response. She might have also observed some "primitive" reflexes, such as Babinski or Moro, that you should have lost shortly after birth.

Klonipin (Clonazepam) is an "anxiolytic" in the same family as valium (Diazepam) that has secondary therapeutic effects as an anti-spasmodic.

Clonus refers to a rapid contraction/relaxation sequence of a stimulated muscle. She probably noticed a "quivering" during one of the sensory tests.

There's really no animal as "adult onset CP", other than post-stroke symptoms, though in rare cases anoxia can occur in toddlers, resulting in CP symptoms.

Christine, I would keep in touch with your neuro, but other than that I wouldn't be too concerned. If you've lived nearly half a century with mild, mild symptoms, I'd be willing to wager the farm that you'll get another 49 without this being more than a minor inconvenience.

Hope this helps!


ArtChick 09-03-2003 06:04 AM

Kyle, YES you've helped tremendously! I was hoping my post wouldnít be one of those with many readings and 0 replies.

I think now I can let it rest until my Feb. appt. to ask my Dr. more questions. In fact, Iím going to print out your reply and keep a copy with me so that when concerns get the best of me, Iíll have something to calm my over-questioning mind.

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation and your efforts to address my situation. Bless you, Christine

CPer 09-03-2003 04:55 PM


Ain't no thang--glad to help! This particular board seems to have little activity, so I can see your concern about a zillion reads and no replies. The vast majority of folks who are scoping out the web for CP info or conversation are parents of kids with CP. The smallest group, IMHO, on the web are adults who were only "kissed" by CP and have led lives that are identical to the "able bodied". The information base on our challenges--especially things related to aging issues--is a virtual vacuum.

Please drop me a note after your Feb. appointment and let me know how things turned out, ok?


lsbank 10-19-2003 11:54 PM

i am 42 years old and diagnosed with spastic depletia and it seems to be getting worse i would like to talk to you in more depth is there a email address that i could contact you artchick i have done extensive study on this .

[This message has been edited by lsbank (edited 10-20-2003).]

ArtChick 10-20-2003 12:26 PM

lsbank, I'd prefer to share information on this forum so that others might benefit from the discussion. Iím glad you found my post.

I started out taking one .5mg Clonazepam (Klonopin) a couple hours before bedtime, and after a couple weeks started taking two of the .5mg pills and soon my husband said my leg spasms totally went away. Now, several months later, same medication and theyíre back.

Called Dr. this week and she said to try one .5mg in the morning and two in the evening as needed. Well, I have a cold and have been sleeping on the couch, so this wonít be a good week to test this out. No one to tell me if itís working. I sleep through it all without any awareness of what Iím doing, but my husband is an extremely light sleeper and Iím constantly waking him up with my jerky movements.

These are the terms my Dr. has used for my abnormal reflexes and jerky legs:

spastic diplegia - A type of cerebral palsy in which there is bilateral spasticity, with the lower extremities more severely affected.

clonus - <neurology, physiology> A form of movement marked by contractions and relaxations of a muscle, occurring in rapid succession.

Looking forward to hearing from you, Christine

lsbank 10-20-2003 04:18 PM

i also have rls and spastic diplegia, i had to have the muscles lenghthened in one leg a few years ago but i went to a zoner wich works with your feet after a couple visits the rls quit it came back after 1-1/2 years i went back to her for a few more visits and have had no problems since. i get a lot of leg pain from the muscles being to tight do you have problems with this? they put me on nerontun but i do not take because side effects are worst than pain.

ArtChick 10-20-2003 07:13 PM

< i went to a zoner > not sure what you are saying here. < went back to her for a few more visits and have had no problems since > wow, tell me what type of person this is?

< i get a lot of leg pain from the muscles being to tight > I donít know if this is a problem for me or not, or if itís arthritis making my hips, knees, and feet sore. Iím going to a rheumatologist this Thursday and have some tests. Iím currently on neurontin because they thought I had fibromyalgia, but it was also recently prescribed because I have a slight mood disorder and the neurontin/zoloft combination has done wonders for me.

< i have done extensive study on this > do you have any web sites to share that speak about Spastic Diplegia in adults? How long have you known youíve had Spastic Diplegia?

lsbank 10-21-2003 04:44 PM

a zoner is someone who can cure problems thru your feet the lady i went to teaches the art and would be more than happy to recomend someone in your area her name is jeannie harold 1-435-258-5314.
I was diagnosed approx 5 years ago the muscles in my legs were ripping just walking and mild activity had problems my hole life with joint pain muscle pain my one foot was turned out approx 20 deg. when i was 27 i had a tibial osteotomy to straighten then when i was 37 i had the muscles in one leg lengthend and that is when i was diagnosed. The doctor said that i should have been diagnosed when i was small he said i had all the signs. large calf muscles bad eyesight, no flexability, ect. the doctor i went to him and his father are orthopedic surgeons at the university of utah hospital his name is tim beals.
I am currently looking at some alternative medical help i will be going to peru in febuary for 5 weeks. i will post the web sights later this week i am currantly at work.

Meshell027 08-07-2008 05:57 AM

Re: Adult Diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia
Hello all.
I am a 28 year old female who was diagnosed with CP-Spastic Diplegia at the age of 4. I have under gone many procudures and a few operations to help with my muscles and gait. I stopped seeing my specialists at the age of 14. Different life reasons and being a stubborn teenager made me put my health on the back burner. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and now I don't know where to start.
I am wanting to know what to expect as an adult living with this for the lack of a better term "disability". I know that it is not progressive but there has to be long term side effects with my muscles being so tense all the time. Can women affected by this bare children? I know that CP is not genetic but can the symptoms and side effect of CP cause birth defects? Can I eventually loose my mobility? I have a billion questions.
Obviously, my first thought was to contact a doctor. Which type of specialist would now more about the long term effects? A orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, my primary care? I am feeling a little lost. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


michelle9 09-14-2008 06:45 PM

Re: Adult Diagnosis of Spastic Diplegia
Hi Michelle..I am 39 years with mild CP and I have four wonderful children, the youngest is five and the oldest is 16.I haven't done anything as an adult for my disability but have considered going to physical therapy to see if that will ease my leg pain.I had went to a Doctor in Washington who suggested I do situps legs aren't even strong enough to get me up if I kneel down a bit. My feet turn in when I walk and everyone looks down at my feet...most of them think I've been in an accident.The best of luck to you.Michelle

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:29 AM.