The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute recently announced a new research clinic aimed at finding new ways to treat cerebral palsy. During the announcement, organizers explained that children from all over the world will be treated at the facility.
The institute’s executive director Michael Friedlander explained: “We do not accept the notion that damage to the brain is irreversible, or that treatment should only be for a select few.”
The institute has developed a form of high-intensity therapy to help affected children used impaired limbs. Hemiparesis, a condition which weakens one side of the body, will be treated with the use of casts on the strong limbs. The change will encourage the development of the weaker side.
“We are bilateral human beings, and the ability to stand and walk depends on both sides working well,” explained Sharon Ramey, who will serve as co-director with fellow professor Stephanie DeLuca.
The Neuromotor Research Clinic will combine science developed at the center with therapy that can be delivered in a child’s home. On occasion, children and their parents will stay at the Roanoke Valley during the course of a treatment.
According to the clinic, therapy ranges from three to six hours a day, five days a week, for up to a month. The treatments include games and other activities that are chosen by the children themselves.
The institute has expressed its hope to expand the clinic’s programs to include infants and adults.