Claudio Ferre, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow mentored by Kathleen M. Friel, Ph.D. in the Clinical Laboratory for Early Brain Injury Recovery at the Burke Neurological Institute, accepted a CTSC TL1 Training Award from the Clinical and Translational Science Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. Funding for this project will help advance research for children with unilateral cerebral palsy who have hand function deficits because of early brain injury.
Currently, there is urgent need for effective hand therapies for children with cerebral palsy based on strong scientific evidence. Starting July 1, Dr. Ferre will begin his proposed project “Combined tDCS and Bimanual Therapy in Children with Cerebral Palsy.” The research study will bring together experts from Burke Neurological Institute and Blythdale Children’s Hospital in the field of clinical neurorehabilitation, brain imaging, and biomedical engineering to design a novel therapy for children with cerebral palsy.
Being conducted at the Burke-Blythedale Pediatric Neuroscience Research Collaboration, the project will examine skilled bimanual therapy when paired with a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that has been shown to increase the rate at which individuals learn a motor task. The overall objective of this project is to determine how to optimally combine brain stimulation and motor training for rehabilitation.
If successful, this novel approach could potentially reduce the time burden of intensive hand therapies. The results of this study will not only have important implications for rehabilitation in children with cerebral palsy, but could also contribute towards understanding how to optimize rehabilitation of other neurological disorders, such as stroke and spinal cord injury.