Research Opportunity – Children with Hemiplegia and Stroke ages 5 to 17

The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA) is assisting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in recruiting participants for a clinical research trial for children with hemiplegia due to stroke. Part of CHASA’s mission is to assist pediatric stroke researchers in locating participants and we’re excited to share this information with families of children with hemiplegia due to stroke. This study examines motor outcomes and neural correlates of asymmetrical gait training in children with acquired hemiplegia. Information regarding the study has been provided by CHOP and is listed below.

After a stroke, children often experience hemiplegia, or difficulty moving one side of their body. Hemiplegia causes difficulties with walking and balance and can contribute to falls. Typical physical therapy treatment after stroke includes walking practice, muscle strengthening, and balance training. Split-belt treadmill physical therapy uses new technology to train each leg differently during walking practice. This type of therapy is starting to be used in people who have had a stroke, but it is not known if it leads to better walking function than typical physical therapy.

The purposes of this pilot research study are:

1. To begin to test if two different types of physical therapy might have different results in children and adolescents who have had a prior stroke, and

2. To determine if either type of physical therapy causes changes in the brain signals that control leg muscles.

This study is seeking children and adolescents 5 to 17 years of age with a history of hemiplegia from unilateral stroke at least 6 months prior and the ability to walk at least 20 feet independently. All participants will receive physical therapy 3 times per week for 8 weeks at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Half of the participants will receive typical physical therapy for hemiplegia. Half of the participants will receive split-belt treadmill physical therapy. After enrolling, participants will be randomly assigned to the type of therapy.

Contact principal investigator, Laura Prosser, PT, PhD, at  215-590-2495 or for additional information.