Researchers call on province to fund genetic testing for cerebral palsy

Researchers argue genetic testing should be a standard part of diagnosing cerebral palsy. The Hospital for Sick Children’s Stephen Scherer and his colleagues genotyped 97 patients with hemiplegic cerebral palsy — cerebral palsy that affects one side of the body — and their parents. They then compared copy number variations in their cohort to those in a population-based sample. The researchers found an increase in de novo CNVs among hemiplegic cerebral palsy patients. Overall, they estimated that they were a factor in slightly more than 20 percent of hemiplegic cerebral palsy patients. Diagnosing children with cerebral palsy can be tricky — about 10 percent of those diagnosed with cerebral palsy might have a different condition — and genetic testing may be helpful to confirm a diagnosis. It could also, the Star adds, give families an explanation.