Parental Age and the Risk of Cerebral Palsy

There are many different factors which may increase the risk of a child developing cerebral palsy. There are some causes, however, that tend to be more common in parents of specific ages than in others. The reason for these issues oftentimes comes down to basic biology. There are also socioeconomic factors that play into increasing the likelihood that a child may be born with cerebral palsy that also do have to do with age.

The Relationship Between Maternal Age and Cerebral Palsy

Maternal Age & Cerebral Palsy

Young Mothers

Women under the age of 18 years old are more-likely to have children who develop cerebral palsy than others. This is particularly the case for women who are 15 years old or younger at the time when they deliver their child. The reason for this comes down to very basic biology. A woman of that age is not yet physiologically mature, and because of that, they are more likely to suffer complications that could lead to a brain damage for their child.

Socioeconomic factors also play into problems younger mothers have. Younger mothers are statistically less-likely to have access to (and to seek out) adequate medical care while they are pregnant. Many cases of cerebral palsy can be averted with good prenatal care. When this is not addressed, however, the chances of the child being born with health problems increase.

Older Mothers

Though it may not seem like a very old age, women over 35 are likely to have issues that younger mothers aren’t as likely to suffer from. Men of 35 years of age or older are also likely to have issues that may lead to cerebral palsy in their children.

Older mothers and fathers are likely to have children who have genetic mutations, that are born prematurely, or who develop problems with their health during pregnancy. These issues can all lead to severe trouble for the child. For example, a 45-year-old man has 4 to 5 times the chance of having gene mutations that could have an impact on the health of his child compared to a man in his early 20s.

Cerebral palsy sometimes occurs because of biological factors, but it can also occur because of medical malpractice. In today’s world, the technology to deliver children safely is certainly there, but physicians sometimes fail in their duties, healthcare facilities are sometimes negligent, and other factors often come into play.