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Viruses linked with cerebral palsy|
Jan 26, 2006
"Infections around the time of birth may
increase risk for the nerve disorder
Exposure to viral infections around the time of birth may increase the risk that
newborns will develop cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders characterized by loss of movement or
other nerve functions caused by brain injuries during fetal development or
A study led by PhD candidate Catherine Gibson of the University of Adelaide in
Australia compared blood samples from 443 babies with cerebral palsy and 883
babies without the condition.
Blood samples taken within a few days of birth were tested for viruses that have
an affinity for nerve tissue, including members of the herpes family.
Exposure to these viruses was common among both groups of babies. Premature
babies were particularly likely to be exposed to viral infection, which may
indicate a relationship between infection and preterm birth.
In addition, exposure to herpes group B viruses was associated with a two-fold
increase in risk of cerebral palsy. These viruses include varicella zoster, the
virus responsible for chickenpox and shingles."