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Research on the genetic causes of cerebral palsy

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Arizona parents may be interested in a recent study published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology” that researched the causes of cerebral palsy. According to the study, up to 45 percent of cerebral palsy cases are caused by genetics. The review was based on earlier findings by the research group which determined that 14 percent of cerebral palsy cases are likely caused by genetic mutation. As gene sequencing techniques continue to evolve, that percentage is expected to grow.

The leader of the research group that conducted the review explained that brain damage at birth through a lack of oxygen was wrongly believed to be the cause of cerebral palsy for years. He also explained that there is no good evidence for this belief as cesarean deliveries have risen in Australia with no overall change in cerebral palsy rates. It is also estimated that $300 million in cerebral palsy claim settlements are paid each year in Australia.

The researchers expressed their hope that cerebral palsy genetic testing before, during and after pregnancy will in the future be introduced. They also believe that cerebral palsy has become an umbrella diagnosis for non-progressive movement, control and posture disorders. Whether the genetic cause of cerebral palsy is spontaneous or inherited, researchers believe the prospect of focusing research on the early stages of pregnancy rather than at birth is a positive one.

There are still infants who develop cerebral palsy due to causes associated with the delivery process, however. The condition often results in many impairments and potentially debilitating symptoms which may require expensive medical treatment. An attorney who has experience in medical negligence matters might assist in determining whether the parents of such a child should pursue a claim for damages.