The impact of perinatal care on the development of cerebral palsy: Markers for use in early screening

​Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of early lifelong physical disability, affecting patients, their relatives and social services throughout a lifetime. CP is an unchanging impairment of the immature brain occurring prior, during or after delivery.

A research project by Cand. Med., Doctor Mads Langager Larsen

The prevalence of CP has fallen to below 2 per 1000 livebirths in Denmark, and in recent years a decline has not only been observed among children born preterm but also among children born at term. The cause for the decrease is not known in detail but is considered to be multifactorial within the obstetric and paediatric fields. While it may seem obvious that advances in antenatal, obstetric and neonatal care over time could contribute significantly to the decline in CP, it is still unclear which mode of surveillance and which specific actions or interventions are responsible for this trend.

In Denmark, detailed data is available on all pregnancies and deliveries. 
By comparing prenatal markers, and prior obstetric and neonatal complications and interventions in cases with CP, with those found in controls, we can identify the risk factors for developing CP in infants delivered in Denmark. In doing so, we aim to identify factors that are actionable and can minimize the development and/or severity. Furthermore, our goal is to identify risk factors that facilitate early diagnosis making it possible to initiate disease-modifying treatment for young patients with CP.

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