“And MRI scans of pre-term babies may allow even earlier diagnosis and greater understanding of the impact of the injury on the developing brain,”says Dr Kerstin Pannek of the University of Queensland and CSIRO who uses the emerging science of ‘connectonomics’ to study how neural networks in the brain evolve and in cerebral palsy, go wrong.
“These are just a few of the practical research findings that are already translating into treatments in clinics around Australia,” says Rob White, CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance which is partnering with the Balnaves Foundation in the global meeting in Vienna. “We expect lots of things to emerge such as these new guidelines on treatment and diagnosis which we hope will be accepted worldwide.”
“It’s the third time we’ve funded this global research meeting on cerebral palsy and the fruits of the first meetings are coming on stream. Now we need to get doctors, physios and nurses in the field to adopt the evidence for early diagnosis and treatment that’s emerging,” Neil Balnaves said.
“I’m told that parents and doctors used to be very negative about cerebral palsy,” Tea Boyce, mother of Genesis said.. “Now there’s hope.”
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About The Balnaves Foundation
Neil Balnaves has worked for over 45 years in the entertainment and media industries. His passion for the arts and medicine led to the establishment of The Balnaves Foundation in 2006. The foundation invests more than $2 million annually in supporting eligible organisations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged and Indigenous communities. For further information visit www.balnavesfoundation.com.
About Cerebral Palsy Alliance Cerebral Palsy Alliance has been supporting children and adults with cerebral palsy in NSW and the ACT for 66 years. We rely on the generosity of the community to help us build a better future for people with cerebral palsy. The Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance is committed to funding research to improve the lives of people living with cerebral palsy now, as well as finding ways to prevent and cure cerebral palsy. www.cerebralpalsy.org.au
Background
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood. Despite advances in medicine and care, birth prevalence has remained unchanged for the last 60 years. Now more than ever, there is a need for a coordinated and targeted research approach to finding answers for cerebral palsy.
The facts of cerebral palsy

  • Every 15 hours an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy
  • 1 in 3 children with cerebral palsy cannot walk
  • 1 in 5 children with cerebral palsy cannot talk
  • 1 in 2 children with cerebral palsy is in pain
  • Cerebral palsy results from damage to the developing brain, usually before birth
  • There is no known cure and, for most, the cause is not fully understood
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