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Researchers find gene that can cause cerebral palsy in children. health news

The seven-year study, published in the journal Nature Genetics and led by scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), a research institute at McGill University Health Center (RI-MUHC) and Holland Bloorview Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital, suggests The existence of many genetic variants that contribute to cerebral palsy.

Physical disabilities that begin in childhood can have a variety of causes, such as infection, injury, or lack of oxygen before or during birth.

However, the genetic contributors to this condition are not yet known.

For 100 years, cerebral palsy was thought to be mostly the result of environmental factors at birth.

“Now that we better understand the complex relationship between the genetic and environmental causes of cerebral palsy, we hope we can improve the care of these children,” said Dr. Stephen Scherer, research lead and senior scientist at SickKids.

For the study, the team conducted whole-genome sequencing of 327 children with cerebral palsy, along with their biological parents. They found that one in 10 children had a genetic variant or probable genetic variant for cerebral palsy, and 17.7 percent of children had a variant of uncertain significance that could be linked to the condition after further research.

“Our findings are a step forward in better understanding the complex genetic and environmental risk factors that can determine an individual’s likelihood of developing this complex condition to help individualize future treatments,” said Dr. Maryam Osqui, Senior Clinician Scientist, Research Institute, McGill University Health Centre.

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