Helping Kids Recover from Stroke

Helping Kids Recover From Stroke and Other Disabling Conditions

April 7, 2021

Stroke affects as many as one in 2,300 infants and can cause cerebral palsy in children. Bernadette Gillick, PT, PhD, McKnight Land Grant Professor of Physical Therapy at the U of M, is looking for better ways to help those kids.

She and her team conducted the first-ever study to combine two particular treatments to enhance motor skills in children with stroke-induced cerebral palsy: applying noninvasive brain stimulation and temporarily restraining use of the less-affected hand to encourage use of the hand that’s more affected by CP.

Results showed the combined treatment significantly improved hand function and had few, if any, side effects. Gillick and her team are now extending the study to infants and younger children with the same diagnosis—driven by the idea that the plasticity of the developing brain could mean even better “rewiring” of neuromotor function. Read full story: How University of Minnesota researchers are helping kids start strong.

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