Michigan Kinesiology

UMich Motor Control Lab

Upper Limb Training in Adults with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is viewed as a pediatric disorder despite the fact that the life expectancy in CP is comparable to that of the general population. Although considered a non-progressive condition, many adults with CP experience declines in functional performance beginning as early as late adolescence. Since our understanding and treatment of motor deficits in CP have been derived almost exclusively from pediatric populations, very little is known regarding the nature of motor decline which may occur across the lifespan. This lack of knowledge concerning functional impairments coupled with the remarkable lack of specialized health care services available for adults with CP underscores the immediate need for research aimed at improving age-related declines in motor ability. In collaboration with Dr. Edward Hurvitz Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, we have developed an upper limb training and assessment protocol entitled Project ULTrA for adults with hemiplegic CP. This intervention will involve upper limb reaching, hand grasp function and sensory training components based on principles of neural plasticity.

ULTrA: Proposal Abstract


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