Today I came across yet another interesting and common sense concept in the quest to help those with cerebral palsy for performing important dexterity exercises in the comfort of their home. The article - Daily Targum – Researchers spawn new therapy for cerebral palsy patients – recounts a small study (3 teenage patients) taking place over the last year at Rutgers University and Indiana University using a modified Sony PlayStation 3 gaming glove to improve dexterity for victims of cerebral palsy.
One of the keys in this research project is to find a way to move therapy into the patient’s home utilizing an activity that all kids enjoy – gaming. The basic goal is to not only move important therapy into the home but to provide a method for young cerebral palsy patients to perform this therapy without the need of costly and time-contrained supervision.
The program is the product of a collaborative effort of these universities headed by Grigore Burdea, a University professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Moustafa Abdelbaky, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student. Another key player in this endeavor is Meredith Golomb, an associate professor of neurology at Indiana University School of Medicine. She found out about Burdea’s work through the Internet and said the combination of her skills with Burdea’s was perfect.
“I’m a pediatric neurologist and know how to assess the kids medically,” Golomb said. “He is an engineer and knows how to get the systems working — it has been a great collaboration so far.”
Some weeks ago, I posted a story about research underway at the University of Michigan in the use of a treadmill to help improve the neuromotor development of younger children with cerebral palsy.
It is through the work of such researchers and many others devoted to helping discover the causes of cerebral palsy that key progress in making the lives of these people with special needs better will be made. We will keep you posted on similar studies and research efforts. Hopefully, if you are the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you will find one of these techniques of interest and potentially useful in maximizing the chances of a better life for your child.