Incidence of Cerebral Palsy on Rise in United States

February 8, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Cerebral palsy (CP) has increased in infants born prematurely in the United States, according to data presented by researchers from Loyola University Health System (LUHS). These findings were reported at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Chicago. They also were published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Researchers reported that CP is associated with inflammation of the connective tissue in the umbilical cord. This inflammation is more common in premature births from preterm labor and premature rupturing of the amniotic sac versus early deliveries due to preeclampsia. Premature births from preterm labor and rupturing of the amniotic sac also are often associated with infections while preeclampsia is not.

“These findings are valuable, as we continue to study the link between premature births and ,” said John Gianopolous, MD, chair, Mary Isabella Caestecker professor and chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, LUHS. “While further investigation is needed, managing inflammation may reduce the risk of certain complications in these infants.”

CP is a disorder that impairs movement due to brain damage. This condition typically develops by age 2 or 3. More than 500,000 Americans have CP, and it is one of the most common causes of chronic childhood disability.

Researchers evaluated 222 preterm placentas for this study. Reasons for premature births were categorized into four groups: premature rupture of the amniotic sac or preterm labor; preterm preeclampsia; maternal disease related to heart complications; and uncomplicated births of multiples. Of those patients who went into preterm labor or had their amniotic sac rupture early, 30 percent had an inflamed umbilical cord compared with only 3 percent of patients with preeclampsia.

LUHS maternal-fetal medicine specialists conducted this study. These physicians work in conjunction with neonatologists, geneticists and obstetrical anesthesiologists to provide care for patients with medical or surgical complications during pregnancy.

Explore further: Synchrotron radiation illuminates how babies' protective bubble bursts

Related Stories

Folic acid cuts risk of premature birth

February 1, 2008

A U.S study suggests that women who take folic acid supplements before they become pregnant can cut their risk of having a premature baby by half.

Premature births linked to physical abuse

February 22, 2008

Premature birth can have serious effects on the development and growth of children. In many parts of the world, preterm deliveries are increasing in frequency. In a study published in the February 2008 issue of the American ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.