Development and Validation of Epigenetic Signatures for Dyskenetic and Ataxic CP by Evaluation of DNA Collected from Peripheral Blood Samples and Determinations of DNA Methylation Pattern Differences Among Genes Associated with CP Diagnosis (2017)

This study looked for biomarkers in the DNA of people with dyskenetic and ataxic CP with a goal to help in CP diagnosis. A previous study by the group found a DNA biomarker in people with spastic CP. This is important because early diagnosis of CP remains difficult; earlier diagnosis allows earlier interventions. Additionally, an understanding of the differing DNA markers for CP can indicate the best treatment plans for the patient, saving critical time for interventions.

Initial Observations

  • Early diagnosis of CP can decrease the severity of the disorder.
  • Current diagnosis timelines range from 6 months old to several years old.
  • Some data suggest that individuals with CP have an altered DNA methylation pattern – markers on an individual’s genetic material.
  • These altered DNA patterns could be detected in newborns.

Core Questions

  • Do all individuals with CP have an altered DNA methylation pattern?
  • Can that altered DNA methylation pattern be used as a predictor of CP in infants?

Research Team

  • Dr. Robert Akins PhD, Dr. Erin Crowgey PhD, Karyn Robinson MS, Stephanie Yeager MS