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Cerebral palsy prevalence, subtypes, and associated impairments: a population-based comparison study of adults and children.

Journal article
Authors Ulrica Jonsson
Meta Nyström Eek
Katharina S Sunnerhagen
Kate Himmelmann
Published in Developmental medicine and child neurology
Volume 61
Issue 10
Pages 1162-1167
ISSN 1469-8749
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages 1162-1167
Language en
Subject categories Neurology, Pediatrics


To describe the prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP), subtype distribution, motor and intellectual impairment, and epilepsy in adults with CP compared with children with CP.CP subtype and impairment data from the population-based CP register of western Sweden and population data from Statistics Sweden were used to compare surviving adults (n=581; 244 females, 337 males) born between 1959 and 1978, with the same cohort as children (n=723; 307 females, 416 males), and with the most recent cohort, born from 2007 to 2010 (n=205; 84 females, 121 males).Prevalence of CP in adults born between 1959 and 1978 was 1.14 per 1000. The occurrence of impairments differed between CP subtypes. Motor and intellectual impairment were closely related, regardless of subtype. Subtype distribution among survivors differed significantly from the original cohorts (p=0.002), and the most recent cohort (p<0.01), tetraplegia and dyskinetic CP being less common in survivors. Severe motor impairment, intellectual disability, and epilepsy were less common among survivors than in the original cohorts (p=0.004, p=0.002, p=0.037) and the most recent cohort (p=0.004, p=0.008, p<0.01).Data on prevalence, subtype distribution, and impairments in children with CP are not applicable to adults with CP. Population-based studies of adults with CP are needed.Cerebral palsy (CP) subtypes are differently distributed in adults compared to children. The prevalence of impairments in adults with CP is related to CP subtype. Spastic tetraplegia and dyskinetic CP are less common in adults than children. Severe motor impairment, intellectual disability, and epilepsy are less common in adults.

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