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Do genes play a role in Cerebral Palsy?

Each child with cerebral palsy (CP) is unique in their abilities and the risk factors they were exposed to. Recent evidence suggests that our genes could play a role in the development of CP.


We each have a unique genetic code (DNA). It is possible that differences in DNA could lead to CP. This study aims to understand the genetic contribution to developing CP. It is hoped that this information will improve the care provided to children with CP, and help develop new treatments.


Genetic Insights to the Causes of Cerebral Palsy Project

Cross-Canada recruitment now open!
We are looking to recruit children who have a diagnosis of CP and their biological parents in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Contact us!


Why should I get involved?

Your participation may help:

  • Researchers to better understand the causes of CP

  • Lead to the development of new diagnostic tests and treatments for CP

You may also benefit by learning about specific genes associated with your child’s CP. There are no directs costs to you for participating in this study, and a gift card is offered at the end of your participation. Your participation should coincide with your child’s regular clinical visits.


The study's Principal Investigators are

Dr Maryam Oskoui

Dr Darcy Fehlings

University of Toronto,

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital &

Bloorview Research Institute


Dr Maryam Oskoui

McGill University,

Montreal Children's Hospital &

McGill University Health Centre Research Institute


Sample collection from you

You and your child will be asked to give saliva samples. To collect saliva, you will be asked to spit into a test tube using a funnel (see video at right). This process usually takes between 2 and 5 minutes.

Sample collection from 
your child

If your child isn't able to spit in the test tube, the research assistant will place a sponge in their mouth between their cheek and gums (see video at right). Saliva from the sponge will be squeezed into the test tube. This process will be repeated until there is enough saliva.


Safety & Privacy
More information
Contact us

Read a summary of our last Genomics project, which had surprising findings and suggests links between CP and genetics: PDF online.


Participation only requires that you and your child provide a saliva sample therefore, we do not foresee any serious risks in participating.

Your samples will be sent to the Centre for Applied Genomics in Toronto. All of your genetic material will be read from your samples. If we find any results that may impact your health, we will ask you to give a blood sample and/or cheek swab so we can confirm these findings.

Your names and identifying information will be removed from your samples and stored separately to ensure privacy and data security.


Project funding from the Research Foundation of the CP Alliance and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


The findings were also reported on by CTV News, CBC News, and the Montreal Gazette.

Thanks! Message sent. We will be in touch.

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