Decline in Cerebral Palsy Diagnoses in Infants Born Prematurely Suggests Improvements in Perinatal Care
Cincinnati, OH, March 3, 2011 -- Cerebral palsy is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects motor function, more often in children born prematurely. Because cerebral palsy is a result of brain injury received shortly before, during, or soon after birth, the number of infants being diagnosed with the condition is a good indicator of the quality of perinatal and neonatal care. An article soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics indicates that the rates of cerebral palsy have declined dramatically in the past 15 years.
Dr. Ingrid van Haastert and colleagues from the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands studied nearly 3000 infants born prematurely between 1990 and 2005. They found that 2.2% of the infants born between 2002 and 2005 were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, down from 6.5% for those born between 1990 and 1993. Such a dramatic decrease in the rate of cerebral palsy diagnoses provides evidence that care for infants right before, during, and shortly after birth has improved in the last 15 years.
The researchers also found that children who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy between 2002 and 2005 were less severely affected by the condition than those diagnosed earlier in the study. Among the infants studied, the most important risk factors for developing severe cerebral palsy were large hemorrhages and/or white matter lesions in the brain. “We found that a decrease in the occurrence of extensive cystic white matter lesions was the main reason for the fall in severe cerebral palsy,” Dr. van Haastert explains.
The study, reported in “Decreasing Incidence and Severity of Cerebral Palsy in Prematurely Born Children” by Ingrid C van Haastert, PTT, MA, Floris Groenendaal, MD, PhD, Cuno S Uiterwaal, MD, PhD, Jacqueline U Termote, MD, PhD, Marja van der Heide-Jalving, MD, Maria J Eijsermans, PPT, PCS, Jan Willem Gorter, MD, PhD, Paul J Helders, MSc, PhD, Marian J Jongmans, MSc, PhD, Linda S de Vries, MD, PhD, appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.12.053, published by Elsevier.
# # #
About The Journal Of Pediatrics
The Journal of Pediatrics is a primary reference for the science and practice of pediatrics and its subspecialties. This authoritative resource of original, peer-reviewed articles oriented toward clinical
practice helps physicians stay abreast of the latest and ever-changing developments in pediatric medicine. The Journal of Pediatricsis ranked 4th out of 94 pediatric medical journals (2010 Journal Citation Reports, published by Thomson Reuters). URL: www.jpeds.com
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com