World’s largest genomics database for cerebral palsy launched

World’s largest genomics database for cerebral palsy launched
Posted on Mon 8 Nov 2021

An international group of researchers has come together to launch CP Commons, a world-first collaborative database to progress understanding of the genome’s role in causing cerebral palsy.

The CP Commons is a unique international resource where researchers from around the world will be able to deposit, exchange and access clinical and genomic data. This is expected to accelerate and stimulate collaborations and scientific discoveries of cerebral palsy, which currently affects some 17 million people around the globe, including 34,000 in Australia.

While the specific causes of cerebral palsy are diverse, it has become increasingly clear in recent years that DNA sequencing is a key tool to identify genomics causes of cerebral palsy.

The combined results of dozens of recent genomics studies with an excess of 3,000 people living with cerebral palsy indicate that roughly one-third of all individuals with cerebral palsy have clinically meaningful genetic variants.

Until now, there has not been a dedicated piece of infrastructure that allows researchers to securely upload, store, and access the genomic information of people living with cerebral palsy.

CP Commons is an initiative of the International Cerebral Palsy Genomics Consortium (ICPGC), which comprises of more than 200 researchers from 75 institutes in 20 countries.

"This project will accelerate the discovery of how genes contribute to cerebral palsy and put a valuable new tool in the hands of the world's best and brightest CP researchers. We look forward to seeing the many breakthroughs in CP genomics that CP Commons will enable."

As the first international genomics database for cerebral palsy research, the CP Commons will revolutionise genomic research, according to Professor Jozef Gécz, Professor of Human Genetics at the Adelaide Medical School, the University of Adelaide and Chair of the ICPGC Governance Council.

“With CP Commons, we can better understand the full spectrum of genomics causes of CP and the underlying complexity of its neurobiology. CP Commons will also realign state-of-the-art medical care for individuals with CP with genomics-empowered precision medicine,” said Professor Gécz,

The development of CP Commons has been funded by Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA), which will also act as the ongoing data custodian for the project.

 “As a global leader in the treatment and prevention of cerebral palsy, CPA is proud to support CP Commons. This project will accelerate the discovery of how genes contribute to cerebral palsy and put a valuable new tool in the hands of the world's best and brightest CP researchers. We look forward to seeing the many breakthroughs in CP genomics that CP Commons will enable,” said Cerebral Palsy Alliance CEO, Rob White.

While the CP Commons has been created and developed for the research community, people living with cerebral palsy and their families have also been consulted to ensure a balance between sharing data amongst the scientific community and promoting research transparency and the protection of research participants’ privacy.

The project adheres to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Data is only collected from ethically approved research studies using informed consent, and clinicians and researchers are required to provide evidence of their individual ethics approvals when using the database.

To mark the launch of CP Commons, a detailed report of the project has been compiled and can be accessed HERE.

 

– ENDS – 

 

For more information, contact:

Max Weber 

Corporate Communications Manager – Cerebral Palsy Alliance 

max.weber@cerebralpalsy.org.au / 0447 123 807 / 02 9975 8767

 

About Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Cerebral Palsy Alliance provides family-centred therapies, life skills programs, equipment and support for people and their families living with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities. For more than 75 years, our priority has been to enable those living with cerebral palsy to lead the most comfortable, independent and inclusive lives possible. CPA is committed to providing world-class services for more than 5,000 clients throughout 100 sites in NSW and the ACT.

We are also the world’s largest private funder of research into prevention and treatment of cerebral palsy through the CPA Research Foundation and CPA Research Institute. CPA also supports tech innovation through Remarkable, our disability start-up accelerator, advocates for people with disabilities through campaign CPActive, and raises awareness of cerebral palsy globally through World CP Day.

Welcome to the wrap up episode of Season One of Cerebral Conversations. Here are some highlights and never heard before stories from the great minds at Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) and our special guests and hosts.

It’s been a weirdly wonderful time for me – you might’ve noticed I didn’t share a column with you in October? That’s because I was racing toward the finish line of my university degree, a double in Arts & International Studies if anyone was wondering. Four years of my life that unfolded in ways I never could’ve predicted.