Va research institute to study cerebral palsy

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute is creating a research clinic to study new ways to treat cerebral palsy.

Organizers say that children from around the world who suffer from the disorder will be treated at the Roanoke-based institute’s Neuromotor Research Clinic.

Cerebral palsy involves the loss or impairment of motor function or posture. It is caused by injury or abnormal development in the brain that happens before, during or immediately after birth.

The Roanoke Times reports (http://bit.ly/16swicv ) that the program is being funded by a $4.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Additional financial support is coming from Virginia Tech, Carilion Clinic and private donors.

The program will follow the progress of 135 children between the ages of 2 and 8 and incorporate science developed at the center with therapy that will be delivered in the child’s home. It will include study sites at the University of Virginia and Ohio State University.

Researchers at the institute have developed a form of high-intensity therapy to help affected children use their impaired arms and legs.

“We do not accept the notion that damage to the brain is irreversible, or that treatment should only be for a select few,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the institute.

Therapy can last for three to six hours a day, five days a week, for up to a month. However, the treatment will include games and activities of the child’s choosing.

In some cases, children and their parents are expected to live temporarily in the Roanoke Valley during the treatment.

Organizers also are seeking additional grant money for other aspects of the clinic, such as a program that will treat infants.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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