Researchers identify genes that may cause Cerebral Palsy in children

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New Delhi: Cerebral palsy is a childhood physical disability that has multiple causes that are known, these include infections, injuries and lack of oxygen during the time of or before the birth. But apart from the known causes, researchers in a long-term study have discovered that certain genes might be a partial reason behind Cerebral palsy.

The study has been published in the Journal Nature Genetics and has been led by a group of scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. It took about seven years to conduct the in-depth research.

For decades, cerebral palsy has been thought to be the result of environmental factors during the time of birth. According to Dr Stephen Schere, the Chief of Research and senior scientist involved in the study, the researchers now have a better understanding of the complex relationship between cerebral palsy’s genetic and environmental factors. The findings can improve the treatment or care for the future.

How is genetics linked to cerebral palsy?

For the study, researchers conducted whole-genome sequencing in 327 children with cerebral palsy, including their biological parents. As per the researchers, one in 10 children had a genetic variant or likely genetic variant for cerebral palsy and 17.7 per cent of children had variants of uncommon significance that may be related to the condition after any further research.

This is just the step forward for a better understanding of the complex genetic and environmental risk factors that may determine an individual’s risk of developing the complex disease. The findings can also help in improving future treatment.

Symptoms of Cerebral palsy

Feeding, drooling and swallowing problems

Constipation

Difficulty in speaking and communication

Seizures or fits (epilepsy)

Problems in falling asleep

An abnormally curved spine (scoliosis)

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