Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Underlying cause of cerebral palsy could lie in family links; Relatives including first cousins could be at risk

Date:
July 15, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Babies born into families in which someone has cerebral palsy are at an increased risk of having the condition, suggests new research. Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in children, affecting approximately two in 1,000 live births in the developed world (and many more elsewhere). It originates from damage to the 'immature' brain and several risk factors in pregnancy have been identified such as preterm delivery, abnormal growth, exposure to infection and lack of oxygen at birth.

Babies born into families in which someone has cerebral palsy are at an increased risk of having the condition, suggests a paper published on the bmj.com.

Related Articles


This is the first study to investigate cerebral palsy over such a broad range of family relationships.

Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in children, affecting approximately two in 1,000 live births in the developed world (and many more elsewhere). It originates from damage to the 'immature' brain and several risk factors in pregnancy have been identified such as preterm delivery, abnormal growth, exposure to infection and lack of oxygen at birth.

Previous studies have found a possible family link with cerebral palsy, but positive findings have been hard to replicate. So researchers from Norway set out to investigate recurrence of cerebral palsy among twins and first, second, and third degree relatives to shed light on patterns of inheritance.

The study involved 1,991,625 single births and 45,116 twins born in Norway between 1967 and 2002.

Using national registries and linkages among families, they identified 3,649 cases of cerebral palsy among two million births. The prevalence of cerebral palsy was 1.8 per 1,000 for children born during 1967-2002. The rate was higher in twins (5.1 per 1,000) than in singletons (1.7 per 1,000).

The highest risk was seen in co-twins of affected children. If one twin had cerebral palsy, the relative risk of recurrence of cerebral palsy was 15 times higher in the other twin.

In families with an affected single child, there was a six to ninefold increased risk in a subsequent full sibling (first degree relatives) and up to a threefold increased risk in a half sibling (second degree relatives).

These increased risks were independent of sex and persisted after excluding preterm births (an important risk factor for cerebral palsy).

Affected parents carried a 6.5 times increased risk of having an affected child compared with unaffected parents. However, for people with an affected first cousin (third degree relatives), only weak evidence existed for an increased (1.5-fold) risk.

"Our data suggest that cerebral palsy includes a genetic component, with a stronger recurrence among relatives with closer genetic relationship," say the researchers, and that the underlying causes of the condition "extend beyond the clinical management of delivery."

However, they suggest that genetic influences are only part of a wide range of causes, and that future studies "should consider the possibility of genetic causes as well as genetic susceptibility to environmental causes."

In an accompanying editorial, leading pediatrician Professor Peter Rosenbaum says parents rightly want to know why their child has serious neurological impairments, whether something they did caused their child's problems, and whether the same problems may recur in later children or grandchildren.

He acknowledges that the search for the causes of cerebral palsy is "far from over" but points out that even family members with a 15-fold increase in risk of recurrence have a small absolute risk of cerebral palsy. "This information should provide some reassurance to families in which cerebral palsy is already present," he concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Underlying cause of cerebral palsy could lie in family links; Relatives including first cousins could be at risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715214257.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, July 15). Underlying cause of cerebral palsy could lie in family links; Relatives including first cousins could be at risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715214257.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Underlying cause of cerebral palsy could lie in family links; Relatives including first cousins could be at risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715214257.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins