Childhood Disability Prevention

Childhood Disability Prevention

The Childhood Disability Prevention Program is a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians and students with a range of complementary yet diverse skills.

They research the causes and mechanisms of childhood onset disabilities and avenues for better management, treatment and ultimately prevention of these.

The team is particularly interested in learning disabilities, epilepsies, autisms and cerebral palsies which combined affect around 10% of children.

The team works with patients and their families to design and build laboratory studies including stem cell and small animal models of disease. These are seen through to pre-clinical studies to inform clinical trials.

They have discovered or contributed to the discovery of more than 250 different genes which are routinely used globally in the diagnosis and clinical management of diseases.

One of the team's driver projects is deciphering the etiology and mechanisms of cerebral palsies which are a group of non-progressive movement disorders traditionally considered to be brought about by perinatal injury. The Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy Research Group of clinicians, scientists and bioinformaticians, working in partnership with other groups including the International Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Tenix Foundation, redefined cerebral palsies as neurodevelopmental disorders that in more than 30% of cases are at least partly due to genetic mutation.

In 2017 the group established the International Cerebral Palsy Genomics Consortium (ICPGC) which is now the leading international collaboration of like-minded investigators across the globe. By redefining cerebral palsies as genetic disorders this opened the group of disorders to early diagnosis, better prognosis, reproductive options, precision therapy and effective prevention.

The neurogenetics team builds on the success of Adelaide and South Australia as the international leader in neurodevelopmental genetics and genomics.