Date Published: 10 January 2006

Viral Infection at birth linked to cerebral palsy - Adelaide University

Health News from Australia.

Researchers from the Adelaide University (Australia) and the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital, who form the South Australian Cerebral Palsy Research Group, have found that exposure to certain viral infections shortly before and after birth, i.e. the perinatal period, is associated with cerebral palsy.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal this month, support the theory that infections during this period can trigger brain damage and the development of cerebral palsy.

The research leader was Professor Alastair MacLennan with laboratory work performed by Dr Catherine Gibson, who was awarded her PhD for this work. The study involved 443 children with cerebral palsy and 883 control babies. All babies were born to white mothers between 1986 and 1999.

Small dried blood samples taken within a few days of birth were used to test for the presence of neurotropic viruses, a group of viruses including the herpes virus, which can all cross the placenta and infect the fetus.

Exposure to viral infection was common in all newborn babies, especially in preterm babies, implying that infection before birth may also be linked to preterm delivery.

Herpes group B viruses were found more often in babies who were later diagnosed with cerebral palsy than in control babies. In fact, the risk of cerebral palsy was nearly doubled with exposure to herpes group B viruses.

" This is the first study to positively link viral exposure during pregnancy with cerebral palsy. However, only a few of the fetuses that were exposed developed CP, and this suggests that some are more susceptible. We are investigating this," said Dr Gibson.

" Despite some limitations, this study shows that perinatal exposure to neurotropic viruses is associated with preterm delivery and cerebral palsy," said Professor MacLennan.

Future studies are planned to investigate the possible causes of this link and to move towards possible strategies to prevent cerebral palsy, which is currently considered unpreventable.

Source(s): Adelaide University, Australia
www.adelaide.edu.au

Also in the News:

Packaged food healthiest in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada - 22 Aug '19

Portland area nonprofit groups form social health network - 16 Aug '19

Robotic exoskeleton hopes for alleviating crouch gait in children with cerebral palsy - 25 Aug '17

More children with life-limiting diseases surviving into adulthood - 12 Mar '12

Support for Deaf Children with Complex Disabilities (UK) - 3 Mar '11

Medical negligence during birth led to compensation for boy with Cerebral Palsy - 3 Feb '11

First newborn receives xenon gas in bid to prevent brain injury - 9 Apr '10

New UK guide will improve life chances for children with complex disabilities - 30 Nov '05

Be a secret angel today: How many anonymous good turns can you do in just 24 hours ?

Although care has been taken when compiling this page, the information contained might not be completely up to date. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright. See terms of use.

IvyRose Holistic 2003-2019.