Daniela Semedo, PHD
Biodex Medical Systems has developed the first movement rehabilitation treadmill for cerebral palsy that includes a music therapy component.
The Gait Trainer 3 offers both audio and visual feedback that patients with CP and other movement disorders can use to adjust their walking patterns. It assesses step length, speed and symmetry, or right-to-left step timing.
It also allows the work of music therapists to reach more people.
Music therapy can improve nervous-system-related movement functioning, studies have shown.
Two kinds of audio cues can activate certain areas of the brain to facilitate walking. They are called rhythmic auditory stimulation cues and patterned sensory enhancement cues. The Gait Trainer 3 combines both forms of music therapy.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Via Oregon State University
The family dog could serve as a partner and ally in efforts to help children with disabilities incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives, a new study from Oregon State University indicates.
In a case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family’s dog, researchers found the intervention program led to a wide range of improvements for the child, including physical activity as well as motor skills, quality of life and human-animal interactions.
“These initial findings indicate that we can improve the quality of life for children with disabilities, and we can get them to be more active,” said Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and corresponding author on the study. “And in this case, both are happening simultaneously, which is fantastic.”
The researchers detailed the child’s experience in the adapted physical activity intervention program in a case study just published in the journal Animals. Co-authors are Monique Udell of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences; Craig Ruaux of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine; Samantha Ross of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences; Amanda Tepfer of Norwich University and Wendy Baltzer of Massey University in New Zealand. The research was supported by the Division of Health Sciences at OSU.
Children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy spend significantly less time participating in physical activity compared to their peers and are considered a health disparity group, meaning they generally face more health concerns than their peers.
Researchers designed an adapted physical activity, animal-assisted intervention where the family dog would serve as a partner with the child in physical activities designed to help improve overall physical activity, motor skills and quality of life. The family dog is a good choice for this type of intervention because the animal is already known to the child and there is an existing relationship – and both the dog and the child will benefit from the activities, MacDonald said.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Joana Fernandes, PHD
Children with cerebral palsy (CP) may improve their touch and hand sensitivity by playing “serious video games,” according to a small study. More studies are necessary, however, to confirm this finding.
The study is part of a PhD project conducted by David Hobbs from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.
Most treatments for CP patients try to exercise muscles throughout the body and improve muscle stiffness, movement control, and posture so patients can be independent while doing daily activities, such as feeding or dressing. However, exercise therapies can sometimes feel like work, and kids with CP may quickly lose their interest and engagement.
READ THE FULL STORY AT CEREBRAL PALSY NEWS TODAY