Cerebral Palsy

  • Pediatric Endurance Development and Limb Strengthening (PEDALS)

    PEDALS is designed to determine if a 12-week program of stationary cycling can enhance function in children, ages 7-16 years, with the spastic diplegic form of cerebral palsy (CP). Cycling is a rehabilitation tool that is often used by physical therapists to improve strength and fitness. Children with CP can use cycling as an activity that not only allows them to participate in family and social activities, it is a means of providing mobility and independence. This research study is conducted by Dr. Eileen Fowler at UCLA, Dr. Sharon DeMuth at USC, and Dr. Loretta Knutson at SMSU. Dr. Fowler and her team of investigators will be analyzing the outcomes of the cycling intervention on strength, cardiorespiratory endurance during walking, gross motor functional performance, perception of change in activities of daily living, sport, and play activities, health related quality of life, and measures of gait performance.

    What is involved in participation?
    Children eligible for this research study will be enrolled and randomly assigned to complete the cycling intervention or to not complete the cycling intervention. All children will be asked to keep a diary of daily physical activity and to complete evaluations before and after the 12-week intervention session. Those children assigned to the cycling intervention will complete 30 sessions of cycling 3 times per week for 10-12 weeks.

    For more information, visit our website at http://pt2.usc.edu/clinresnet/

    Child Habilitation and Motor Performance Skills (CHAMPS)

    Acquisition of motor skills is one of the most important behaviors in humans especially in children who learn new motor skills throughout their childhood. CHAMPS is a study designed to understand how conditions of practice that vary the amount of feedback provided during skill acquisition affects motor learning in typically developing children and in children with unilateral brain damage from birth (spastic hemiparetic cerebral palsy). Children have different information processing capabilities compared to adults; and yet, little research has focused on the generalizability of motor learning principles to children with or without developmental brain damage. The study was led by Dr. Katherine Sullivan at the University of Southern California (USC) Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy in collaboration with Dr. Patricia Burtner, a visiting scientist from the University of New Mexico.