Recent studies have established the role of rare copy number variants (CNVs) in several neurological disorders but the contribution of rare CNVs to cerebral palsy (CP) is not known. Fifty Caucasian families having children with CP were studied using two microarray designs. Potentially pathogenic, rare (<1% population frequency) CNVs were identified, and their frequency determined, by comparing the CNVs found in cases with 8329 adult controls with no known neurological disorders. Ten of the 50 cases (20%) had rare CNVs of potential relevance to CP; there were a total of 14 CNVs, which were observed in <0.1% (<8/8329) of the control population. Eight inherited from an unaffected mother: a 751-kb deletion including FSCB, a 1.5-Mb duplication of 7q21.13, a 534-kb duplication of 15q11.2, a 446-kb duplication including CTNND2, a 219-kb duplication including MCPH1, a 169-kb duplication of 22q13.33, a 64-kb duplication of MC2R, and a 135-bp exonic deletion of SLC06A1. Three inherited from an unaffected father: a 386-kb deletion of 12p12.2-p12.1, a 234-kb duplication of 10q26.13, and a 4-kb exonic deletion of COPS3. The inheritance was unknown for three CNVs: a 157-bp exonic deletion of ACOX1, a 693-kb duplication of 17q25.3, and a 265-kb duplication of DAAM1. This is the first systematic study of CNVs in CP, and although it did not identify de novo mutations, has shown inherited, rare CNVs involving potentially pathogenic genes and pathways requiring further investigation.
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