Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation
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The Australian CP Register (ACPR) is a confidential research database of clinical information about people with cerebral palsy.

Information collected about each person with cerebral palsy includes birth details, type and severity of cerebral palsy, other associated impairments and parent demographics.

The Australian CP Register collects data from each of the country’s state and territory cerebral palsy registers to enable researchers to:

  • monitor the incidence and prevalence of cerebral palsy
  • improve their understanding about the causes
  • evaluate preventive strategies
  • assist in planning present and future services for children and adults with cerebral palsy

The ACPR is funded by the Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance.


  • if we can identify causal pathways to cerebral palsy we can potentially prevent some cases of cerebral palsy


  • by analysing the number of people with cerebral palsy each year, we can see if new interventions are reducing the incidence of cerebral palsy
  • by monitoring trends, we can help service providers plan and organise their services to better meet the needs of people with cerebral palsy


  • by looking at long term outcomes we can understand which interventions are the most effective

The Australian Cerebral Palsy Register Report (ACPR) is the most accurate and complete source of statistical information on cerebral palsy in Australia.

For the first time, researchers were able to report on cerebral palsy trends in Australia which were published in the 2013 Report. The second full ACPR report was published in 2016 with updated findings which include:


  • During the 2007-2009 period, the rate of CP per 1000 live births declined from 2-2.5 to 1.4-2.1 per 1000 live births.

Timing of injury

  • Cerebral palsy occurred during pregnancy and the first few weeks of life for 94% of children with the condition.


  • 57% of children with cerebral palsy were male compared to 51% of births in Australia.

Premature babies

  • Prematurity is associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy – 43% of this cohort were born premature
  • During the 2007-2009 period, there was a slight increase in rates of cerebral palsy in the 20-27 week gestational age group.

Low birth weight

  • Low birth weight is associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy. This may be a result of prematurity or slow intrauterine growth
  • 43% of children with cerebral palsy had low birth weight, compared to just over 6% of the Australian population.

Multiple births

  • 12% of children with cerebral palsy were from a multiple birth, whereas the rates of multiple births are less than 3% in the Australian population.

Pattern of cerebral palsy

  • Spasticity was the predominant motor type of cerebral palsy (86%)
  • 39% of individuals with a spastic motor type had spastic hemiplegia/monoplegia and 61% had bilateral spasticity (diplegia, triplegia and quadriplegia).

Associated impairments at 5 years of age

  • 30% of children had epilepsy
  • >50% had an intellectual impairment
  • >60% had a speech impairment
  • >30% had visual impairment
  • >10% had hearing impairment

Australian Cerebral Palsy Register Report 2016