Cerebral palsy: Epidemiology

Shona Goldsmith, Sarah McIntyre, Eve Blair, Hayley Smithers-Sheedy, Nadia Badawi, Michele Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong physical disability, resulting from maldevelopment or damage to the developing brain. All children with CP have a disorder of movement and posture, but this is often accompanied by disorders of intellect, sensation, behaviour and epilepsy. Long-standing CP registers and surveillance systems estimate the prevalence of CP as approximately 2 per 1000 live births; however variations are seen over time and in different regions of the world. In Australia, we have recently seen declines to 1.4/1000 live births for birth years 2010-2012. The causes of CP are complex and multifactorial. Genetic and environmental risk factors have been identified, which span the period from pre-conception through to the early years of life. These risk factors often interact to form 'causal pathways' to early brain injury, though the specific pathway for an individual is often unclear. Congenital microcephaly, a common congenital anomaly, is one such factor on pathways to CP. Genetic and environmental factors on pathways to CP that include congenital microcephaly are also described. Improved understanding of pathways to CP facilitates the identification of opportunities to interrupt the pathway, thereby preventing cases of CP.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurodevelopmental Pediatrics
Subtitle of host publicationGenetic and Environmental Influences
EditorsDavid D. Eisenstat, Dan Goldowitz, Tim F. Oberlander, Jerome Y. Yager
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783031207921
ISBN (Print)9783031207914
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2023


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