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October 18, 2021 Monday 11:59:07 AM IST

Intensive therapy better for Cerebral Palsy

According to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech's Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, UVA Children's, The Ohio State University, and Nationwide Children's Hospital, it is found that children with cerebral palsy can gain greater use of an impaired arm and hand with larger doses of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) - without increasing stress for parents.

Higher doses of CIMT therapy - 20 three-hour sessions over four weeks - yield significant and lasting improvement in the use of their arms and hands, especially in everyday functional activities. The study focused on children with hemiparetic cerebral palsy (HCP), the most common childhood neuromotor disorder.  The Children with Hemiparesis Arm-and-hand Movement Project (CHAMP) study is the first to compare different dosage levels of the same type of CIMT intervention for similar children. CHAMP provides new findings that are practically useful for clinicians and families in choosing treatment likely to produce meaningful benefits for children with hemiparetic cerebral palsy. 

The CHAMP study found that the higher intensity therapy sessions - three hours a day, five days a week for four weeks - significantly improved upper arm and hand abilities while a lower dosage of 30 hours per month (2.5-hour sessions, three days a week for four weeks) produced fewer gains. The children's early improvements continued for at least six months after higher-intensity CIMT. The therapists are trained to ensure each child has many successes in every therapy session. The child sees and feels their improvement and becomes an active partner in the therapy. this therapy increases children's willingness to tackle new and difficult activities. it is observed  that even the higher CIMT intensity and the full-time cast are not stressful for the parents, and the children quickly adapt to constraint