Cerebral Palsy Program Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Cerebral Palsy Research

New Initiatives: The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital

The Comprehensive CP Program is partnering with The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop a translational research program that is fully integrated with our clinical services.   [more...]

This is important because it will ultimately allow us to “learn from every patient at every visit”.  The first phase of this program has been rolled out, and includes enhancing our electronic medical record. This will enable us to continually improve the quality of care provided at Nationwide Children's Hospital.  The next phase of this program involves integrating the database with ongoing clinical studies of interventions for children with CP.

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Quality of Life: Stress

Stress. It’s something everyone is familiar with and deals with on a daily basis. As previous studies have demonstrated, children with CP and their families report higher levels of stress on a daily basis.   [more...]

We are currently conducting a quality of life study to assess these levels of stress.  What makes this study unique and innovative though, is that the results will be used to develop a more in depth study of how this stress actually creates changes in the body.  The results of this study will provide a concrete way of measuring levels of stress and which stress reduction programs are the most effective.

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Muscle Architecture

The newest resource to study the muscles of children with CP is ultrasound.   [more...]

For years, our knowledge of muscle structure has been limited because it required a painful biopsy to get a tissue sample.  We are working with the NCH Department of Radiology, Ohio University and the Medical College of South Carolina on protocols to answer basic science questions, develop treatment options and measure outcomes.

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Clinical Therapies Research

The Clinical Therapies Department provides occupational and physical therapy to children with developmental difficulties. Their goal is to provide the most appropriate and beneficial therapy to each individual child. With this in mind, they are involved in several exciting research studies to help determine what therapies are the most effective for children with movement difficulties. The following is a brief summary of just a few of the research studies currently being pursued:   [more...]

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy: 
This therapy involves casting the child’s stronger arm for a period of time to help encourage the child to use and therefore strengthen the weaker arm.  During the period of casting, the child participates in an intensive therapeutic program.  Initial research indicated that 3 hours of intensive therapy per day resulted in positive results.  The Clinical Therapies Department, in partnership with the Universities of Alabama, Virginia, Georgetown, and The Ohio State University has just written another grant to further study this therapy to determine the minimum amount of therapy required to obtain positive results.  A study is also being developed to assess the benefits for infants less than 1 year of age.  The thought is that by intervening at an earlier age, the degree of “learned non-use” is minimized.

Partial Weight-bearing Treadmill Training:
This summer, the Clinical Therapies Department ran a pilot program to study the benefits for children with movement difficulties who exercise on a treadmill 3 times each week for 8 weeks.  The results indicated that for those children who participated regularly for the entire program, their walking ability improved.  The program was such a success that the Clinical Therapies Department plans to continue it. 

They also submitted a grant to conduct research on the benefits of this type of therapy for those children who are not able to walk.  The theory is that improving strength and endurance of the legs and trunk would lead to improved sitting and transfer skills.  Unfortunately this grant was not funded but they will continue to study this and look for other funding opportunities.

Toys for All Tots:
Unfortunately not all toys are made with all children in mind.  If the Clinical Therapies Department gets its way, this will change.  They are developing a program to train parents, caregivers, and volunteers to modify their own toys to meet the individual needs of the child.  From a switch to turn on an ipod to an adapted electric toy car, and everything in between will be taught to the community so that this program will be sustained.  Currently, 3 grants have been submitted to help get this program started and we are anxiously awaiting a decision.

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