Training postural and gait balance control in children with Cerebral Palsy: associations between brain structural metrics and motor behavior

01 January 2015 → 31 December 2017
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Orthopaedics
    • Orthopaedics
    • Human movement and sports sciences
    • Rehabilitation sciences
    • Orthopaedics
brain structural metrics
Project description

When an injury occurs to the developing brain, as in Cerebral Palsy (CP), children experience deficits
in motor control. Poor postural control is a primary deficit in CP with a large impact on a child’s daily
life, since it is crucial for gait and, thus, greatly affects the risk of falls. To improve their quality of
life, adequate treatment is essential. However, the success of treatment greatly depends on the
knowledge of the underlying causes of the deficit. With this research proposal, I will be first to
unravel the network of brain structures related to balance control in CP.
I expect that training improves balance control in CP. Therefore, I will investigate whether a
randomized controlled balance training can promote postural and gait balance control in CP
children, using clinical and experimental measures. I will use the latest serious gaming products for
balance training to ensure motivation and dedication. Using medical imaging techniques I will
examine whether advances in balance control are supported by neuroplastic changes in brain
As some children will be less responsive to training, it is hypothesized that the combination of
behavioral and neurological assessments will allow for the identification of the underlying causes of
responsiveness. There is no similar initiative being undertaken, underscoring its highly innovative
potential. Our findings may lead to the development of more effective rehabilitation strategies to
enhance balance control in CP.