Northwestern University
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Current Studies

We are working on updating our site; listed below are studies that have used the CPRR for recruitment. For more information, please contact the CPRR Coordinator at theresa-moulton@northwestern.edu or 312-503-3342.

Open Studies (still recruiting)

“Posture and Orientation in Adults with Cerebral Palsy" ages 15-50

The purpose of this study is to understand how persons with cerebral palsy use their vision to help with balance and to prevent falling. A virtual reality set-up is used to assess balance. The researchers hope to be able to provide an effective intervention to improve balance and walking ability in persons with cerebral palsy.

“Functional Electrical Stimulation Assisted Cycling to Improve Fitness and Strength in Children with Cerebral Palsy" ages 10-18

The purpose of this study is to develop a better way for children with cerebral palsy to exercise. The need for activity and exercise is especially important for youth with physical disablities. Studies show that this group participates in less physical activity compared to their typical developing peers and therefore are more at risk for declines in health. Researchers would like to know if electrical stimulation to a child's or teen's legs will increase strength so that he/she could ride a stationary tricycle for physical activity.

"Robotic Gait Training Improves Locomotor Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy” ages 4-14

The purpose of this study is to improve the walking ability of children with diplegic, triplegic and quadriplegic cerebral palsy by using a robot-assisted body weight supported treadmill training system. The researchers hope to be able to provide an effective intervention to improve walking ability in children with cerebral palsy.

“A Phase III, Multicentre, Double Blind, Prospective, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Dysport used in the Treatment of Lower Limb Spasticity in Children with Dynamic Equinus Foot Deformity due to Cerebral Palsy” ages 2-17

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of Dysport compared to a placebo for ankle joint spasticity in children with dynamic foot deformity associated with cerebral palsy. The researchers hope that they will be able to provide an effective intervention to improve walking for children with foot/ankle issues.

“Pediatric Hemiparesis: Synergistic Treatment using rTMS and CIT"
ages 2-16

The purpose of this study is to determine whether non-invasive brain stimulation combined with constraint-induced therapy (limiting the use of the less affected arm and promoting the use of the more affected arm) result in improved hand control and whether it produces new areas of activity in the brain. The researchers hope that this information will assist with innovative rehabilitative strategies.

“Copy Number-Directed Gene Discovery in Cerebral Palsy” ages 1-90

The purpose of this research is to learn more about the possible genetic causes of cerebral palsy. The researchers will be analyzing blood samples from individuals who do not have a determined cause for their cerebral palsy in this investigation. Individuals of any age, born at 35 weeks gestational age or older are encouraged to join the study.

Closed Studies (no longer recruiting)

“The Innervation Zone and Organization of Motor Units in Spastic Muslces of Central Disorders with Childhood Onset" ages 18-65

The purpose of this study is to assess muscle and nerve properties of specific muslces in the arms and hands of persons with cerebral palsy and compare the results with persons who do not have cerebral palsy. In this study, the researchers will use a new, non-painful surface EMG (electromyogram) unit to obtain these recordings. Previous studies have required the use of invasive or needle EMG techniques in order to obtain such information.

“Dalfampridine Effects on Function in Adults with Cerebral Palsy” ages 18-55

The purpose of this study is to understand if a drug, Dalfampridine, that is used to help with walking with persons with Multiple Sclerosis, can be used successfully with persons with cerebral palsy. The researchers will test sensory and motor abilities such as hand strength and walking speed to determine if this drug is beneficial for persons with cerebral palsy.

“Dance for Motor Learning in children with Cerebral Palsy” ages 6-17

The purpose of this study is to use virtual reality displays and dance to investigate how movement assists posture and motor learning in children with spastic diplegia and hemiplegia. The researchers hope this information may provide information that can aid in physical therapy treatments to assist children with cerebral palsy to develop improved dynamic balance

"Impact of Social Factors on Medical and Functional Outcomes Among Children with Cerebal Palsy" ages 3-21

The purpose of this study is to determine if social-economic status influences the medical and functional outcomes of children with cerebal palsy. The researcher hopes to learn more about how family income, gestational age and mother's education affects a child's medical conditions and functional limitations.

“Loss of Independent Joint Control of the Upper Limb in Spastic Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy" ages 6-35

The purpose of this study is to determine how children with spastic hemiparetic cerebral palsy are able to selectively perform movements of their arms, and to see how it might be different compared to kids their age without CP. The researcher hopes to learn more about the reasons why it can be difficult for these children with cerebral palsy to perform tasks with their arms, so that better therapies can be designed to improve performance.

“Medical Home in Children with Cerebral Palsy" ages 2-17

The purpose of this study is to better understand the medical home model in children with cerebral palsy. By asking parents questions and receiving their comments and concerns, the researchers hope to gain insights as to the percentage of children with cerebral palsy who have a medical home in place and stratify these children based on Gross Motor Functional Classification System.

“Evaluation of postural control and motor coordination during reaching in individuals with cerebral palsy: a pilot study" ages 8-50

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of self-initiated postural stabilization on motor performance in individuals with cerebral palsy. The researcher hopes to show that self-initiated postural stability improves motor performance in people with cerebral palsy who have no independent trunk control.

“Video Game Based Rehabilitation with Cerebral Palsy" ages 7-15

The purpose of this study is to determine if the muscles in the lower leg gain strength when a child with cerebral palsy stands on the Wii balance board while playing a Wii video game. The researcher hopes to determine if lower extremity strength and standing balance can be improved with this intervention.

“Quantification of Quality of Life and Levels of Participation in Children with Mild to Moderate Cerebral Palsy" ages 3-8

The purpose of this study is to determine fitness, functioning, participation in everyday activities and health in children with cerebral palsy ages 3-8. The researcher hopes that this information will make it easier for families, doctors, and community support systems to work together in order to improve health, ongoing development, and well-being of your child. increase knowledge of treatments in children with Cerebral Palsy that promote fitness, functioning, participation in everyday activities, and health.

“Barriers & Supports to Sports & Recreation in Youth with Disabilities: a pilot study” ages 13-17

The purpose of this study is to give adolescents with physical disabilities an opportunity to identify and discuss the personal and environmental barriers to and supports of sports and recreation that they personally experience in various settings. The researcher hopes to gain a greater understanding directly from the teens of the barriers that must be overcome and the supports that lead to increased participation in recreation and sports.

“Comparison of Anticipatory Postural Adjustments in Children with Cerebral Palsy and Their Non-disabled Peers” ages 8-17

The purpose of this research is to learn how typically developing children and children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy organize muscle activity before initiating arm movements that perturb balance and posture. The researcher hopes this information may expand our knowledge of how children prepare for tasks that disturb their balance and this, in turn, may provide information that can aid in physical therapy treatments to assist children with cerebral palsy to develop improved balance in sitting and standing.