Researcher’s have identified a gene, Apolipoprotein E (APOE), that is associated with the development of cerebral palsy. APOE is a gene associated with heightened risk for Alzheimer’s disease in adults, but it is also connected with newborns developing cerebral palsy.
This is the first identification of a gene that increases the likelihood of cerebral palsy. This study may in fact help doctors identify children who are at risk for poor neuro-development after brain injury. This would help them target these children for early therapeutic intervention.
Cerebral palsy affects 1 in 500 young children in the United States and has an annual economic toll of $5 billion. Cerebral palsy is the most costly of birth defects in the United States. Cerebral palsy is associated with impaired intellectual function, sensory deficits, behavioral disorders and seizures.