Research Programs for Cerebral Palsy

Every day, U-M clinicians and researchers strive to find new therapies and techniques to improve quality of life for individuals living with cerebral palsy. In addition to giving our patients early access to groundbreaking therapies, our extensive involvement in research results in our faculty having a unique understanding of the causes and impacts of cerebral palsy on both adults and children.

  • Assistive Technologies and Cognitive Testing: University of Michigan researchers are developing adapted versions of standardized tests to provide children with physical and speech impairments with more accessible testing. Our clinicians are leading the development of alternative testing methods that use Assistive Technology (AT) and adapted versions of many cognitive tests focusing on literacy, processing speed and attention impairment among others.
  • Quality of Life and Treatment Outcomes: The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan are leading studies about quality of life and health outcomes in teens and adults with cerebral palsy, particularly individuals who have had a selective dorsal rhizotomy.
  • Chronic Disease Risk and Metabolics: As people with cerebral palsy age, U-M researchers have demonstrated that they have a higher risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease than their peers who do not have cerebral palsy.  To further understand this, we are investigating how metabolics (oxygen consumption, glucose use) work in people with cerebral palsy.
  • Exercise, Physical Activity and Fitness: People with cerebral palsy have lower levels of fitness than the general population. We are studying how increasing activity and promoting exercise affects overall health and function.
  • National Study of Cerebral Palsy Outcomes (The Cerebral Palsy Research Network): The University of Michigan is part of the Cerebral Palsy Research Network (CPRN) which consists of about 20 sites around the country that are gathering data on individuals with cerebral palsy to determine what factors and which treatments lead to best outcomes.

University of Michigan physicians and staff also routinely author publications and present at national and international conferences on topics of interest to the cerebral palsy community.

Schedule an appointment at 734-936-7175.