New research findings on the genetic causes of cerebral palsy has far reaching implications for the treatment of the most frequent cause of physical disability in childhood.

It has long been the belief that cerebral palsy occurs when a child experiences a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or at birth. However, the Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group, based at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute in South Australia, has found at least 14 percent of cerebral palsy cases are likely caused by a genetic mutation.

The international research group says this could be the biggest discovery into cerebral palsy in 20 years.

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