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Birth Injury

Researchers Are Studying Whether There Is a Link Between Congenital Anomalies and Cerebral Palsy

In what has been called “the largest worldwide population-based study,” researchers are studying whether there is a connection between specific congenitial anomalies and patients with cerebral palsy (CP). By studying these congenital anomalies, researchers hope to aid in earlier detection and increased awareness of CP.

The study, published in BMJ Open, is titled Comprehensive investigation of congenital anomalies in cerebral palsy: protocol for a European-Australian population-based data linkage study (The Comprehensive CA-CP Study). In between 15% and 40% of children with cerebral palsy, the children suffer from cerebral and/or non-cerebral congenital anomalies. The study showed evidence that both cerebral and non-cerebral congenital anomalies occur more commonly in children with cerebral palsy than in the general population, leading researchers to believe there must be connection.

However, no study has yet been able to determine the risk of CP to children with specific congenital anomalies. To address this problem, an international team of researchers have teamed up to distribute surveys and collect more information from a very large sample size of CP patients. Twenty-six European and eleven Australian registers responded to the surveys, an unprecedented level of global cooperation. The researchers are now comparing the survey answers to a database on children with CP to try and determine the connections between congenital anomalies and CP.


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