Cerebral Palsy Community
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Avatar universal

Brain injury acquired at birth?

Dear medhelp,

I have a question, and I would really appreciate if you could help.  My 5year old son has mild athetoid cerebral palsy.  According to his neurologist, it is now becoming evident that his brain damage is in basal ganglia (based on observing Alex only). I need to know what are the chances his condition is hereditary or what is the possibilty that his brain damage was acquired at birth?  Initially we were told that his condition could be genetic, therefore hereditary...  This is the main and the only reason we have not had any more children.  We were told "your next child might be a severe case and might not be able to walk or talk".  
Alex was born by emergency cesarean, after scalp blood lactate was measured to be 6.9. His Apgar scores were 6 and 9 (1min and 5min).  In the clinical notes, I also found cord lactate to be 6.9 (possibly measured at the time of delivery, no time written down).
Thank you
Kind Regards
Milena E
5 Responses
298824 tn?1349955177
Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain before, during or shortly after birth....It is not hereditary...You can go to a gentic specalist to discuss your concerns ....best of luck
Avatar universal
Cerebral palsy has several causes such as Intrauterine infections, teratogenic agents, Maternal illness, prematurity, Intra cranial hemorrhage, trauma, hypoxia etc. It is not usually genetic unless some anomaly resulted in any of the above conditions leading to hypoxia.
Some experts attribute athetoid cerebral palsy to Basal Ganglia, to increased levels of bilirubin in the child from infections and blood incompatibility between the mother and her child.
I would recommend that you consult a pediatrician, geneticist about this for expert help.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Thank you both on your responses.
I had an appointment with the head of Obstetrics in the clinic where my son was born, I guess this is not genetic counseling but I am trying to get more information, in particular the correlation between PH and lactate.  Most of the research about hypoxia in labour is about ph levels and not much about lactate levels. I wanted to find out what 6.9 in lactate correlates to in ph and they told me it is 7.1.  I wish I could see some evidence and research to convince me.  In terms of bilirubin, Alex did not have jaundice at any stage, and was tested for "antibodies" which was negative - not sure what that means.  
As to "hereditary", crabby70, I was told that cerebral palsy can reoccur as the cause could be "metabolic"... Unfortunatelly, I don't know enough about it and medical people that I am asking for help are giving me conflicting information.  Bottom line is, there is not enough information out there that could rule out either possibility, it is all inconclusive.  
Thank you
298824 tn?1349955177
You could have a child with CP again...depending how he aquired the CP.....Some doctors will not like to comment on how it was aquired because they are thinking law suit....Thats why I think you might fine better anwers from a geneticist...best of luck...
Avatar universal
We put together an article explaining the many physical and mental issues surrounding Athetoid Cerebral Palsy.  The effects of Athetoid CP injuries depend on the location and severity of the damage. Diagnosis at an early age is problematic as motor skills are still developing. Find out symptoms, causes, and treatment in our article Athetoid Cerebral Palsy.
Hope this helps: http://www.cpfamilynetwork.org/medical-research/get-the-facts-athetoid-cerebral-palsy
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