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Research and education are integral components of our Center and are continuously pursued in an effort to provide all technological advances to our patients. The Kameron Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory is used to aid in clinical decision-making and in the pursuit of research questions. Our basic research programs help us to understand the causes of movement disorders as well as assess the effectiveness of treatment. Educational programs target both professionals and patients.
Active Research Projects at the Center for CP
Peri-operative Use of a Pain Injection in Pediatric Patients with Cerebral Palsy
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an injection of local pain medication in children with cerebral palsy undergoing major hip surgery. If your child is scheduled to undergo surgery and you choose to participate in this study, in addition to typical pain control, your child will also receive an injection directly into the surgical site. As this is a randomized control study, your child will receive either an injection of pain medication or a placebo. Pain levels after surgery will be compared between the two groups to determine if this type of pain control is helpful in reducing post-operative pain in children with cerebral palsy. If your child will be having orthopedic surgery at UCLA and you would like to be included in this study, please contact our study manager (Sierra Pinal, 213-742-1057, [email protected])
Pre-Operative Video Counseling for Cerebral Palsy Patients
This study aims to establish an education program for CP patients and parents of CP patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. If you choose to participate, depending on which group you are assigned to, you and your child will receive either standard preoperative counseling alone or with the addition of a preoperative education program consisting of a short video and informative handouts. The education program will add approximately 20-30 minutes of time to your preoperative clinic visit. If you or your child will be having orthopedic surgery at UCLA and you would like to be included in this study, please contact our study manager (Sierra Pinal, 213-742-1057, [email protected])
Serum Markers in Pediatric CP
Cerebral palsy can cause muscle stiffness and weakness. There is some evidence that this stiffness and contractures result from increased inflammation – the body’s response to irritation and/or injury. The overall level of inflammation can be measured by markers of inflammation that circulate in the liquid portion of the blood – the “serum.” If your child is scheduled to undergo surgery and you choose to participate in this study, a small amount of your child’s blood will be drawn before and after surgery. The serum will be evaluated for inflammation so that we can better understand the nature of CP, which will hopefully lead to future improvements in the care. If your child will be having orthopedic surgery at UCLA and you would like to be included in this study, please contact our study manager (Sierra Pinal, 213-742-1057, [email protected])
Would you like a picture of your child’s brain?
We are studying brain imaging and motor function in 6 to 18 year old children who were born prematurely and have spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Children must be able to walk by themselves with or without a walker, cane or crutches. They must be able to understand and follow simple directions and be able to lie still for up to ten minutes at a time. Information Flyer (PDF)
Transforming Women’s Healthcare
In collaboration with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF), the Center is participating in a multi-site project to address the challenges that women with cerebral palsy face in obtaining quality women’s health care. The result of this work is that UCLA’s OB/GYN Clinics are accessible and the staff are trained in the care and treatment of women with CP.
Appointments - To make an appointment in the UCLA OB/GYN clinic, please call 310-825-5961 or
“Well Woman” Exam Flyer (PDF)
Contact Us - If you are interested in participating in any of these programs, or would like more information, please contact the Center for CP: Phone: 310-825-5858 or Email: Marcia Greenberg [email protected].
Quantifying Functional Brain Activity Using EEG in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain has been used for many years to help identify brain lesions in children suspected to have CP. However, MRIs are timely, expensive and can be inconclusive. EEG is a comparatively inexpensive and harmless test that captures brain function through detecting brain waves. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the brain in children with CP through EEG. EEG testing will map and quantify certain brain waves in children with CP, as compared to typically developing children. Moving forward, our goal is to develop EEG criteria for early diagnosis of CP.
If you would like to be included for study, please contact our study manager (link below)
EEG in Children with Cerebral Palsy Flyer
Hip Surveillance in Cerebral Palsy
At the UCLA/OIC Center for Cerebral Palsy, we carefully surveil all children with CP for hips at risk of dislocating and treat with orthopaedic surgery, when appropriate. However, we have not studied our surveillance protocol scientifically. This study records our hip surveillance efforts and any surgical intervention performed so that we may improve our protocol here at UCLA and perfect the North American protocol that has been proposed by members of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, including Dr. Thompson.
All children seen at the CCP are asked to participate, but if you would like further information, please contact our study manager (Sierra Pinal, 213-742-1057, [email protected])
Muscular Changes in Cerebral Palsy
CP is a disorder of movement that results from an injury to the developing brain. While the brain injuries have been studied extensively previously, the resulting effects on the muscle are not well understood but include weakness and stiffness. No previous researcher has extensively evaluated the changes in that occurs as children with CP grow. To that point, we are currently studying small muscle biopsies from children with and without CP to better understand the changes that occur in CP muscle as a first step toward a better understanding of the disease, which will hopefully lead to future improvements in the care of patients with CP and other neuromuscular diseases.
If you would like to be included for study, and you or your child are planning on surgery at UCLA, please contact our study manager (Sierra Pinal, 213-742-1057, [email protected])
Walking and Bone in Children and Adults with Cerebral Palsy Study Information
The purpose of this research study is to better understand the relationship between walking and bone in children and adults with cerebral palsy.