Cerebral Palsy Linked to Herpes|
Jan 6, 2006
"Babies exposed to herpes group B viruses either shortly before
or after birth have an increased-risk for cerebral palsy, according to a recent
study from the Adelaide Women's and Children Hospital in Australia.
Researchers studied newborn blood samples from 1,200 babies, one-third of whom
were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. They screened the samples for a group of
viruses that affect brain cells, including herpes group B viruses, which can
cross from mother to baby in utero.
Investigators found blood from babies who developed cerebral palsy were nearly
twice as likely to contain a herpes group B virus. They also found babies born
prematurely were more likely to have been exposed to a neurotropic virus near
"The risk of cerebral palsy is nearly doubled with exposure to herpes group B
viruses but may require other factors, such as genetic susceptibility to
infection and inherited thrombophilia or involvement of other clinical events,"
says Catherine Gibson, Ph.D., lead author of the study.
Gibson notes, however, despite the evidence, it is too early to draw any firm
conclusions about a link between exposure to viral infection and cerebral palsy.
She says future studies are planned to investigate these factors."