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A team of Australian researchers has recently published the results of a groundbreaking study on cerebral palsy that could potentially introduce some very real and very significant changes in the way the medical community views and even treats this condition.
For those unfamiliar with cerebral palsy, it is a neurological disorder that is diagnosed at birth, and which can result in the onset of medical issues ranging from muscle spasms and stiffness to decreased mobility and sensory problems.
The study, published in the most recent edition of Molecular Psychiatry, involved researchers undertaking a complex DNA analysis of 183 people diagnosed with cerebral palsy and their biological parents. Here, the aim was to uncover the presence of certain genetic anomalies that have long been thought to be linked to the condition.
In a very interesting turn of events, the researchers discovered that roughly one in seven of the study participants — or 14 percent — did have a “potentially disease-causing gene variant.”
According to the researchers, these findings could someday lead to the development of early diagnostic techniques and spur further investigation into the genetic components of cerebral palsy.
While this research is indeed fascinating and encouraging, it’s important to remember that the study only found a genetic anomaly in 14 percent of the study participants. This not only supports the notion that further research is needed, but that there may be other factors at play when it comes to this devastating condition.
For example, medical experts have long thought that oxygen deprivation either during delivery or shortly after birth is one of the more frequent causes of cerebral palsy.
If you believe that some sort of medical negligence on the part of your OB/GYN or pediatrician may have played a role in your child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.
Source: The Disability Scoop, “Genes may play bigger role in cerebral palsy,” Shaun Heasley, Feb. 17, 2015
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