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Cerebral palsy: the concept and population-based registers
INTRODUCTION. Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of motor disability in the paediatric age. For several decades, a number of developed countries have kept registers that have been used to conduct population-based studies of CP. In Spain, however, little attention has been paid to the epidemiology of CP.
AIM. To review the concept of CP today and to stimulate greater interest in researching into CP based on the experience of other countries. DEVELOPMENT. The different definitions of CP cover motor sequelae secondary to an isolated brain injury that occurs in a developing brain. CP registers were started as a means of monitoring the prevalence of CP and planning suitable care for patients. Over the last decade projects have been carried out that involve the coordinated efforts of several centres; this provides a larger population for study and reduces the chances of confusion with respect to the terminology employed. In this regard, one notable line of work is that of the European CP group (SCPE), which gathers information about children with CP in 15 countries. Spain has been taking part in this project since 2003 through a group of researchers from the Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid.