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Project: An Evaluation of the effectiveness of Functional Electrical Stimulation paired with intensive therapy to improve hand function in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy

Centre for Leadership in Child Development

Project: An Evaluation of the effectiveness of Functional Electrical Stimulation paired with intensive therapy to improve hand function in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy

Investigators:

Project summary:

Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (HCP) have motor impairments that particularly affect one upper extremity. The reduced upper limb function often limits their performance in functional activities and participation at home, school, and later vocational roles.

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) involves the administration of electrical impulses using skin electrodes that can activate muscles and generate functionally useful movements. FES has been used to improve upper limb motor function in both adult and pediatric stroke populations, and studies have shown very positive results.

Given that a stroke is often the underlying mechanism of injury in children HCP, we wanted to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of a multichannel FES system to improve hand function in children with HCP, and determine whether the results of the proposed treatment were sufficiently robust to justify conducting a subsequent larger clinical trial.