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Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

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The motor disturbances seen in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) may also be comorbid with other issues including behavioural disturbance, cognitive difficulties, sensory impairments, epilepsy and intellectual disability (ID). There is little data available on mental health outcomes in adults with CP; however, existing evidence indicates that 20-25% of patients have depressive symptoms. The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to characterize the incidence of depression and anxiety in adults with CP (n=1705) compared with age-, sex- and general practice-matched controls (n=5115) using primary care data from the UK. Researchers found that the individuals with CP were more likely to develop symptoms of depression (HR 1.28, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.51) and anxiety (HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.63) when compared to a matched reference group. When accounting for ID, there were 363 adults with CP who also had ID; only individuals with CP and no comorbid ID had a higher risk of incident depression (HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.72) and anxiety (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.28 to 1.87). This study therefore shows that adults with CP have an increased risk of depression and/or anxiety, particularly in patients with no comorbid ID.

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