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March 1, 2012

Cerebral Palsy Genetic Connection

March is known as Cerebral Palsy (CP) Awareness Month, and recent research confirms CP may be genetic.  For many years, CP was thought to be a birth condition.  These findings are documented in the Lancet Neurology Journal.

“There is a widespread misconception that most cases of CP are caused by difficult delivery leading to birth asphyxia,” said Andres Moreno De Luca of the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania and the lead author of the paper. “What we’re finding is a growing body of evidence that suggests mutations in multiple genes are responsible for CP. In fact, we suspect these genetic abnormalities may also be the cause of some difficult births to begin with.”

People born with CP have remained at a solid ratio for 40+ years.  DeLuca states researchers are aware of six genes that contribute to having CP.  He also states that other developmental brain genes could be a factor in diagnosis of the condition.

The most common cause of CP still remains inadequate oxygen supply to the brain.  Modern technology such as fetal monitoring is assisting in early detection of the condition.  Researchers state that with these new findings there might be more reports completed about the condition, additional and thorough diagnosis made, and better therapies for people with CP.

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