The Center for Cerebral Palsy Research was founded in 1996 and is committed to understanding the mechanisms underlying the symptoms of cerebral palsy and developing evidence-based treatment approaches targeting these symptoms. The Center is a non-profit organization located at Teachers College, Columbia University, a leading institution of Education, Health and Psychology. Our Center is committed to improving the lives of children with cerebral palsy through research. These include both speech and motor disorders associated with CP.
Impaired hand function is one of the most disabling symptoms of hemiplegic cerebral palsy, affecting self-care activities such as feeding, dressing, and grooming. We have been studying the mechanisms underlying the impaired hand function in cerebral palsy since 1991. Based on this knowledge, we developed and began studying the efficacy of intensive rehabilitation techniques in 1997 and more than 150 children have participated. Presently we are testing the efficacy of two cutting-edge interventions, Constraint-Induced Therapy (CIT) and Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy (HABIT), on involved hand and arm function in children with hemiplegia. We are also collaborating on a robotic assistive hand training project. We are hopeful that these interventions will improve hand function in children with hemiplegia. Participation is free and will help aid our understanding of the optimal ingredients and dosage of successful rehabilitation with the hope that this information will improve rehabilitation services for all children with cerebral palsy.
We are also beginning to conduct studies on speech intelligibility, and expect to start clinical trials of speech treatments in the near future.
Some projects take place throughout the year, including INDIVIDUAL CIT and HABIT using modified schedules (several hours per week). CIT and HABIT CAMPS are generally held during school recess. Our next camp will be June 21 - July 10 2015. We are also conducting a project on home-training in children 18 months to 4 years of age (see announcements). We are taking names/info of potential participants so contact us now if you would like to be considered for any of these projects.
We have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, United Cerebral Palsy Research & Education Foundation, the Thrasher Research Fund and the generous donations of people who share our hope.