Monday, April 1, 2024

Gene Sequencing Discovered the Genetic Causes of Cerebral Palsy


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Cerebral Palsy is a genetic condition that affects development of motor skills in children that occurs on the developing brain, often before birth. Symptoms of this condition can appear during infancy or early childhood. Although treatments such as surgeries; braces, physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help, there is no cure for this treatment and before now, the genetic contributors of this treatment were unknown. However, the 2024 article, “Genetic causes of cerebral palsy uncovered through whole-genome sequencing,” created by The Hospital for Sick Children, stated that A Canadian-led study has identified genes which may be partially responsible for the development of cerebral palsy. 

The scientists from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and Holland Bloorv
iew Kids Rehabilitation Hospital conducted a study in order to research the in depth genetic causes of the condition. The scientists conducted genome sequencing in 327 children with Cerebral Palsy as well as their biological parents and compared them to three clinical cohorts and two pediatric control cohorts in order to determine whether genetic variants may be involved. According to the article, their findings showcased, “More than one in ten children (11.3 percent) had a genetic variant or likely genetic variant for their CP, and 17.7 percent of children had variants of uncertain significance that may be linked with CP after further research. Many of the variants also overlapped with other neurodevelopment conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ” (The Hospital for Sick Children, 2024). This study identified that the causes of Cerebral Palsy are more diverse than originally thought as many of the variants are overlapped with other conditions. This new information can allow specialists, like those at The Hospital for Sick Children, to alter their treatment plans in order to provide the best care for each individual patient. 

I thought this was a great article! Not only was this research able to provide more personalized care for people with Cerebral Palsy, but it also opened up the door for more research to be done in the future to hopefully find a cure for this condition. 

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