Australian children with cerebral palsy will be the first to benefit from a pioneering new program, eBRAIN that could gain international attention if it succeeds. Rolling out across Queensland, the program is being launched by the University of Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre (QCPRRC).
This program uses home rehabilitation therapies that include physical activity, cognitive challenges and manipulation. As QCPRRC Scientific Director Professor Roslyn Boyd explained, the goal is to enhance and drive neuroplasticity for children with both cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury. Professor Boyd said, “The eBRAIN program allows children to use an interactive web-based application from their own home. It means it is more cost effective as children don’t have to visit several specialized therapists and it’s more accessible for working parents and families who live remotely.”
As she continued, “We are very excited about being able to offer a program that will significantly improve the current costly neuromodulation therapies for children, as well as further develop telehealth as the way of the future for more effective rehabilitation.”
As part of the eBRAIN rehabilitation program, they plan to use cutting-edge neuroimaging to look at how training can change the brain. As Professor Rose of the UQ Centre for Clinical Research said, “Advanced neuroimaging and medical image analysis allows us to measure reorganization of the brain in response to the training paradigms. This not only provides a quantitative framework for determining the effectiveness of training but importantly, provides unique insight into how training modulates brain reorganization, often termed neural plasticity.”