Spring 2018

Dear ,

Welcome to the Spring edition of CP-NET Today!  The CP-NET Today! newsletter will help you keep up-to-date on exciting research developments in the area of CP research funded by the  Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) , as well as news and events of interest to the CP-NET community.  This newsletter highlights an upcoming webinar, a video, a new tool for clinicians as well as a research summary and peer-reviewed publication. 

Please feel free to share this newsletter with family, friends and colleagues. They can subscribe to the CP-NET Today! e-Newsletter for free  by registering here . Don't forget to check the  cp-net.org  website for more great resources on CP.

Upcoming Webinar! 

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) for children with cerebral palsy in Ontario: Meet the experts

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST

A new Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) program has been launched in Ontario. The program is run by The Hospital for Sick Children and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto and supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The program is offered to children who are living with cerebral palsy (CP) in Ontario who have goals to improve standing, walking or running.  

Currently, children with CP may be individually assessed by their therapist or doctor to determine the best care pathway and outcomes to meet their unique needs and goals. It is recommended that families carefully consider the benefits, risks, and possible outcomes when making a decision about SDR for their child.

Join us on June 12 to meet experts who will answer frequently asked questions about SDR and provide practical information about all the steps before, during and after the surgery. All information will be presented in plain language by a panel that includes parent, doctor, therapist, and researcher perspectives. 

This is your chance to learn all about SDR!

Meet the presenters:
George Ibrahim MD, PhD, FRCSC, is a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto.  His clinical work focuses on the treatment of epilepsy, spasticity and functional disorders in children.  His research laboratory at SickKids focuses on the study of brain network changes in these conditions and the development of novel treatment strategies.

Golda Milo-Manson MD, MHSc, FRCPC, is a developmental pediatrician and the Vice President, Medicine and Academic Affairs at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She also is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She took lead on the proposal submission for the SDR program in Ontario.

Marilyn Wright BScPT, MEd, MSc. is a physiotherapist at McMaster Children's Hospital and an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University. She has been involved with the pre and post operative care of children who have had SDR surgery.

Parent To Be Announced


Jan Willem Gorter MD, PhD, FRCP(C), has training in pediatric and adult rehabilitation medicine (physiatry) and is Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. He is a member of the CP-NET Executive Committee, lead of the MyStory project and the CP-Net Knowledge Translation co-lead. He holds the Scotiabank Chair in Child Health Research and is Director of CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research ( www.canchild.ca ) at McMaster University.

New Video

My Favourite Words
My Favourite Words

Announcing " My Favourite Words" - a new video created by Instituto Nossa Casa in Brazil and adapted for an English audience by  CP-NET.

Learn what the " F-words" - Function, Family, Fitness, Friends, Fun and Future - mean to children with disabilities and their families!

English version produced with support from  The Ontario Brain Institute.

New Resources

Hypertonia Assessment Tool 

Researchers at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital have released a free online video learning platform to learn how to use the Hypertonia Assessment Tool (HAT). The HAT is a quick easy-to-learn tool that helps clinicians identify the type of hypertonia present in a child to guide treatment. The online video learning platform is now available to learn how to:
a. Administer the HAT
b. Recognize hypertonia subtypes: spasticity, dystonia, and rigidity
c. Examine for hypertonia subtypes using expert commentary
For more information about HAT online learning platform and to download your free copy of the HAT visit our website at: www.hollandbloorview.ca/hat .
The HAT eLearning platform is supported by CP-NET, in partnership with the Ontario Brain Institute.

Research Summary

In this summary, CP-NET researchers explain how the drug metformin is being investigated as a potential treatment for CP. Using mouse models, researchers have shown how metformin can lessen motor impairment when provided shortly after a brain injury and are currently exploring how metformin can improve learning challenges. Click on the link above to read more!


Recent Publications by CP-NET Members

To further advance in intervention design, neural mechanisms responsible for improvements in lower limb function (i.e. leg and foot) of children with unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP) must be better understood. Children with UCP have damage to one side of the brain, resulting in difficulty controlling the opposite side of the body. This study investigated the neural mechanisms of lower limb skill improvement in children with UCP through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study developed a task-based fMRI in which participants were asked to perform a motor task. The fMRI was then used to detect levels of neural activation in the participant's brain, as well as a ratio of activity using a laterality index (LI). The value of the LI helped indicate the relationship between increased motor cortical activity and improvements in motor function.
Authors: Hilderley AJ,  Taylor MJ Fehlings D Chen JL Wright FV . Int J Dev Neurosci.  2018 May;66:54-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2018.01.004. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

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