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Center for Cerebral Palsy Research
Research projects in our center focus on: 1) delineating mechanisms of sensorimotor control in typically developing children and adults, 2) elucidating the biological bases of pediatric movement disorders, and 3) applying research-based knowledge toward developing evidence-based educational and therapeutic interventions. All three areas are intertwined, with the ultimate goal of applying the findings of each of these to improve the lives of children with physical disabilities. The work has been described in The Lancet: "Progress in understanding the fundamental basis of [CP], and progress in treatment and rehabilitation demand objective and discriminating measures of sensorimotor coordination. Using such an approach in [recent studies], Gordon and colleagues provide new insights into the nature of the disabilities? More effective therapies and rehabilitation may be possible by targeting [Gordon's findings] to assist children with [CP] to learn how to optimize their manipulative capacities."
In keeping with this promise, our center has been at the forefront of Constraint-Induced Therapy research. Since 1997, we have administered and tested the intervention in more than 250 children. Most recently, we have developed and begun testing a new intervention, Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy (HABIT) that strives to improve coordination of the two hands in children with hemiplegia. Our work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the United Cerebral Palsy Research & Education Foundation. Our work was also recognized recently with the receipt of the 2007 and 2012 Gayle G. Arnold Award for Best Scientific Paper. We are expanding our work into lower extremity training and speech therapy as well.
Our staff includes highly skilled physical therapists, occupational therapists and a psychologist, as well as consultants (including a pediatric neurologist and social worker).