Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Children and Young People with Cerebral Palsy

Alexandra Griffin, PhD


BACKGROUND: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability of childhood, affecting movement and posture. Current effective treatment for CP are limited, and new interventions to improve motor skills are needed. GAP: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a safe brain stimulation intervention that can improve motor skills in children with CP when combined with motor training. tDCS has only been used in the clinic, limiting access for families; this study will demonstrate that families can set up and use tDCS safely and feasibly in the home. HYPOTHESIS: Children with CP will tolerate the stimulation well with no serious adverse events. The repeated and remotely-guided sessions will result in increased comfort and confidence reported by families in performing tDCS at home. METHODS: This is an exploratory open label trial that will assess the safety and feasibility of active tDCS for children with CP in the home setting under caregiver and remote investigator supervision and direction. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Results from this study will help to build an effective tDCS clinical program for children with CP, enabling these children to access a new intervention to improve movement skills, over-and-above the benefits of rehabilitation alone. Additional study impacts include reduced out-of-pocket costs for families and lifetime cost savings for Government. This study may also support the development of similar programs for other indications, including stroke, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s Disease.

Supervising Institution:
Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Iona Novak

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