Cerebral palsy treatment option for the 21st century

Donald Saiontz

By Donald Saiontz
Posted April 26, 2007


The University of Michigan has developed a new cerebral palsy treatment option which allows adults with cerebral palsy to receive therapy through the internet.  This is a program which could lead to a future where more adults with cerebral palsy are able to obtain consistent and necessary physical and occupational therapy to improve their ability to complete day to day activities.

>>INFORMATION: Cerebral palsy treatment

Cerebral palsy is a disability which involves disorders of movement control and muscle coordination.   Depending on the type of cerebral palsy, the condition could effect different muscles and parts of the body differently.

>>INFORMATION: Cerebral palsy information

Although most people associate cerebral palsy with children, it is a life-long disability.  A child with cerebral palsy has the same life expectancy as any other child.  Although it is not a progressive condition, as the child reaches adulthood many will experience decreased mobility and functional ability without therapy.

Cerebral palsy treatments are designed to help those with CP lead a more productive and independent life.  Since the disability effects movement and muscle control, physical therapy and occupational therapy is one of the most important things for those with CP to do to maintain their functional ability.  Therapy helps improve motor skills, communication capabilities and methods of functioning effectively within the limitations imposed by the disability.

Unfortunately, some insurance companies do not provide coverage for cerebral palsy therapy.  In addition, many adults with CP have difficulty attending regular therapy sessions due to busy work and family schedules.

The University of Michigan project is designed to allow adults with cerebral palsy to obtain effective therapy from within their homes.  The program requires a home computer with internet access, which allows the patient to connect with their therapist through streaming video and “virtual trainers”.  A complete movement-based therapy program is provided while researchers are able to collect data to determine how the cerebral palsy therapy is working.

The project is called the “Upper Limb Training and Assessment Program” or ULTrA, and it is designed to assist in upper limb and hand movement for cerebral palsy adults.  ULTrA is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research through the U.S. Department of Education.  The program is a three year study which consists of 40 minute training sessions done five days a week for eight weeks.  The adults with CP are provided an upper limb training unit which is connected to the computer and a high-speed internet connection.  Real-life therapists are available through streaming video for assistance.

INFORMATION:  Cerebral palsy virtual therapy announcement

Donald Saiontz, is a cerebral palsy lawyer who represents children who suffered a brain injury at birth .  In many cases cerebral palsy is caused by a medical mistake during delivery which results in a lack of oxygen or trauma to the brain.  If cerebral palsy could have been prevented by proper standards of medical care, benefits may be available to cover the life-time of medical expenses which a child with cerebral palsy will incur.  To obtain a no-obligation claim evaluation and review the circumstances surrounding the birth with an attorney, request a free consultation.

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