Population-based surveillance of cerebral palsy indicates a decline in overall prevalence

Catherine Arnaud
Toulouse III University, Inserm U1027, Toulouse Cedex, France

Objectives  To present the evolution over time of prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) including the more recent trends.

Summary   Improving epidemiological knowledge on CP implies the study of populations of large size with standardized definitions and descriptions, consistency in selection of cases and high level of ascertainment. Networks of population-based registers play a pivotal role in this.   The Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe (SCPE) was established in 1998 to bring together harmonized population data on CP (Cans et al, 2000). It currently comprises 23 centres from 20 European countries. The Australian Cerebral Palsy Register (ACPR) is a collaboration established in 2008 between 8 population-based CP registers in Australia (ACPR report. 2013).

Since 1980, there was a decline in the overall prevalence of CP worldwide concomitant with a major improve in neonatal survival in all infants. However, variations in prevalence were observed in birthweight specific groups and according to CP subtypes.


1/ An overview of the epidemiology of CP in Europe (SCPE data, birth years 1980-2003) is presented: prevalence, risk factors, CP subtypes, rare conditions (Pr MJ Platt)

2/ A comparison of European and Australian networks of CP registers shows similar methods and similar reductions in the birth prevalence of CP (Dr E Sellier and S McIntyre)

3/ More recent birth prevalence data from SCPE (children born 2003-2009) are shown, including birthweight specific prevalence and according to CP subtype (Dr C Arnaud, Dr G L Andersen, Pr MJ Platt, Dr E Sellier) 

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