Persistent Inflammation in Cerebral Palsy: Pathogenic Mediator or Comorbidity? A Scoping Review

Madison C.B. Paton, Megan Finch-Edmondson, Russell C. Dale, Michael C. Fahey, Claudia A. Nold-Petry, Marcel F. Nold, Alexandra R. Griffin, Iona Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Research has established inflammation in the pathogenesis of brain injury and the risk of developing cerebral palsy (CP). However, it is unclear if inflammation is solely pathogenic and primarily contributes to the acute phase of injury, or if inflammation persists with consequence in CP and may therefore be considered a comorbidity. We conducted a scoping review to identify studies that analyzed inflammatory biomarkers in CP and discuss the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of CP and/or as a comorbidity. Twelve included studies reported a range of analytes, methods and biomarkers, including indicators of inflammatory status, immune function and genetic changes. The majority of controlled studies concluded that one or more systemic biomarkers of inflammation were significantly different in CP versus controls; most commonly serum or plasma cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor, Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10. In addition, differences in inflammation were noted in distinct subgroups of CP (e.g., those with varying severity). The available evidence supports the pathogenic role of inflammation and its ongoing role as a comorbidity of CP. This review shows that inflammation may persist for decades, driving functional impairment across development and into adulthood. However, inflammation is complex, thus further research will increase our understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7368
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • biomarker
  • cerebral palsy
  • comorbidity
  • inflammation
  • scoping review

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