Research and Clinical Trials *NEW*

Asian boy in wheelchair playing with clay on a pink and purple background

The Cerebral Palsy Foundation is committed to sharing the most up to date Cerebral Palsy clinical trial and research study information with you on an ongoing basis.  Every month we'll highlight new or innovative clinical trials around the United States and the world that may be a fit for you or your family member.  Check back often for what's new and exciting in the world of cerebral palsy research.

On September 1st  2020, there are currently 213 cerebral palsy clinical trials and research studies in the United States and 796 around the world.  Not all of these trials are actively recruiting participants at this time.  One great source of information about clinical trials is, operated by the National Institutes of Health US National Library of Medicine, where you can find clinical trials that are of interest or located near you.  It's easy to visit and enter search terms for cerebral palsy clinical trials and research studies you may be interested in learning more about.

IMPORTANT: * is a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Listing a study on does not mean it has been evaluated by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and does not constitute medical advice.  Before participating in a study, talk to your health care provider and learn about the risks and potential benefits.

Highlighted Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials - September 2020

Below you will find a variety of cerebral palsy clinical trials and research studies that are actively recruiting participants around the United States in different geographic locations.  You can click on each link to learn more about the trial or study, including where it is located and what medical or research institution is involved.  We've included research studies and trials focusing on both children and adults with different types of cerebral palsy.

1. Dopamine and Motor Learning in Cerebral Palsy

Study Description:

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common lifelong motor disability. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is important in cognition and emotions/behavior. DA may also be important in motor skill learning. Genes that relate to DA function may affect a persons ability to learn new cognitive or motor skills. Some children with CP can learn motor skills easily while others have trouble. National Institutes of Health Researchers want to find out if DA gene variations cause some of this variability.


2. Robot Based Gait Training Therapy for Pediatric Population With Cerebral Palsy Using the CPWalker

Study Description

This trial is being conducted to determine if the CPWalker can be used as a gait training intervention for pediatric patients with gait impairments due to cerebral palsy. Participants will engage in an 8-week training program, consisting of 2-3 sessions per week based on the level of gait impairment. Percentage range of motion (ROM), partial body weight support (PWBS), and gait velocity are the principal parameters under variation during training. Additionally, screening, baseline and post-training testing sessions will be conducted


3. Early Childhood Constraint Therapy in Cerebral Palsy

Study Description:

This is a prospective interventional study involving young children who will all receive non-invasive, passive assessments of sensory and motor function. In addition a subpopulation of young children with cerebral palsy will participate in a randomized controlled trial of constraint-induced movement therapy, a routinely prescribed therapy used in clinical practice for children with motor difficulties. The study attempts to apply a rigorous scientific approach to study a widely used but poorly studied practice. The design is an RCT with wait-list controls to allow all children to benefit from the therapy, even if they are randomized to the control group. All children, regardless of group allocation will continue with their standard of care occupational and physical therapy throughout the study.


4. Cerebral Palsy Adult Transition Longitudinal Study

Study Description

The purpose of this study is to investigate longitudinally, the walking ability of individuals with cerebral palsy who are transitioning into adulthood and to cross-sectionally examine the health status of these individuals in the context of their walking ability. Young adults who received instrumented gait analysis (IGA) as children will show significant decreases in overall gait performance, as measured by kinematics, kinetics, temporal-spatial parameters, and gait deviation index, compared to their last childhood IGA.


5. Effect of Vibration on Muscle Properties, Physical Activity and Balance in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Study Description

Due to the limited mobility associated with the disorder, individuals with CP have an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and osteoporosis, compared to the general population. Therefore, identifying treatment strategies is of utmost importance. The aim of this study is to examine the acute and chronic effects of low-magnitude vibration on muscle, physical activity, and balance in children with CP.  Fat concentration and muscle will be assessed using imaging techniques. Physical activity will be assessed using activity monitors. Balance will be assessed using clinical and biomechanical tests.  The findings from the proposed study will help us determine if vibration shows promise as a treatment for the impaired mobility, lower physical activity and higher risk of chronic disease in individuals with CP.


6. Short-Burst Interval Treadmill Training Cerebral Palsy

Study Description

Ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP) walk predominately in low intensity stride rates with little variability, thus limiting their walking activity and ability to participate in daily life. In contrast, typically developing (TD) children engage in short bursts of intense walking activity interspersed with varying intervals of low intensity walking within daily life.  The proposed research will be the first step in a continuum of research that is expected to direct locomotor training protocols and rehab strategies across pediatric disabilities and positively affecting walking performance and mobility for children with CP.


7. tDCS and Robotic Training in Adults With Cerebral Palsy

Study Description:

The purpose of this study is to improve arm function in adults with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Participants will receive transcranial direct current stimulation (or sham) in combination with upper extremity robotic therapy.


8. Effect of Dysport Injections on Energy Expenditure and Walking Efficiency in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Study Description:

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the leading cause of disability in children, with the most widespread type of CP being spastic CP which negatively affects physical function. Specifically it is reported that there is an increase in energy expenditure and oxygen consumption in children with CP. Single event multi level chemoneurolysis with abobotulinumtoxinA has been found to be an effective treatment for patients with spasticity to reduce energy expenditure by increasing walking efficiency; however many of these studies have conflicting methodological approaches. Therefore this study aims to evaluate the single event multilevel chemoneurolysis with Dysport® on energy expenditure and gait in children with spastic diplegia CP.


9. Functional Strength Training and Virtual Reality in Children With CP

Study Description:

Virtual reality (VR) has shown to be effective to improve arm function in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Recently, functional strength training (FST) starts to show to improve arm function in patients with stroke but has not been extensively explored in children with CP. This pilot study is to examine the effect of FST and VR on improving arm function in children with CP as well as the neuroplasticity changes in the brain related to the level of improvement.


10. Evaluating Wearable Robotic Assistance on Gait

Study Description

The overarching goal of this study is to improve mobility in individuals with movement disorders through advances in wearable assistance (i.e. powered orthoses).


11. The Impact of Dosing Parameters on Motor Skill Acquisition and Retention in Bilateral Cerebral Palsy

Study Description

A recent systematic review found that therapeutic interventions that apply principles of motor learning with intense practice improve functional upper extremity movement in children with unilateral CP.  Evidence of efficacy for any treatment approach aimed at improving motor function in bilateral CP (the most prevalent form) is lacking. Preliminary investigation suggests that intensive (90 hours) goal-directed, task-specific training provided in a 3-week day camp format can improve functional movement of both the upper (UE) and lower extremity (LE) and postural control in children with Bilateral CP. To date, HABIT-ILE has only been provided in a day camp setting over several weeks. Implementing the dosing schedule of this promising intensive approach in a hospital setting requires innovative resource allocation (space and staff); thus, examining alternative delivery models is imperative. The purpose of this study is to conduct a multi-center randomized control trial (RCT) to determine whether 90 hours of HABIT-ILE improves functional motor skills, activity and motivation in children with CP when dosed in a camp format at 6-hours/day, 5 days/week for three weeks and 6-hours/day, one day/week for 15 weeks.


12. Does Timing Matter? Supporting Play, Exploration, and Early Developmental Intervention (TimeSPEEDI2)

Study Description

Infants born very preterm (≤28 weeks of gestation) are at high risk of having developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy, coordination impairments, attention deficit and learning disabilities. 

Targeted intervention supporting postural control and motor learning in the NICU have resulted in short term motor gains. Interventions that enhance parent's ability to read their infant's cues and provide engagement opportunities improve maternal mental health and infant social and cognitive outcomes in the short-term. The purpose of this randomized clinical trial is to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention that combines evidence based motor intervention and parent engagement to enhance the parent's ability to provide daily motor and cognitive opportunities resulting in improved motor and cognitive outcomes.


13. Power Training Combined With Interval Treadmill Training (PT³)

Study Description:

Ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP) experience walking limitations which negatively influence their ability to physically participate in day to day life. The investigators propose that impaired muscle power generation is the key limiting factor affecting walking activity and participation. This proposal represents a combined approach where participants undergo resistance training for muscle power generation in combination with locomotor treadmill training that is based on typical pediatric walking and activity patterns rather than adult protocols, which are endurance or time-based. Therefore, the primary objective of this randomized controlled trial is to determine the effect of lower extremity Power Training combined with interval Treadmill Training (PT³) on functional walking capacity and community-based activity and participation in children with CP. We hypothesize that remediating the most pronounced muscle performance impairment (i.e., muscle power) with power training combined with a task- specific approach to walking that is developmentally appropriate will have a significant effect on walking capacity and performance.


14. Cerebral Palsy Hip Outcomes Project - International Multi-centre Study

Study Description

The primary purpose of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of different intervention strategies to prevent or relieve symptoms associated with hip instability in children with severe cerebral palsy, using the validated Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD©) questionnaire as the primary outcome measure of health-related quality of life for this population.


15. Movement-2-Music: Lakeshore Examination of Activity, Disability, and Exercise Response Study in Adults

Study Description

The purpose of this study is to test the effects of an innovative exercise program referred to as movement-2-music (M2M) on health and fitness outcomes in adults with physical/mobility disabilities. One hundred and eight participants with physical/mobility disabilities will be recruited and randomly enrolled into one of two groups: a) M2M or b) waitlist control. The primary aim of this study is to determine the effects of a 12-week M2M program on health and fitness in participants with physical/mobility disabilities who are in one of three functional mobility groups: 1) Group I - only able to exercise while sitting, 2) Group II - able to exercise sitting and standing with/without support, and 3) Group III - able to exercise one side of the body more than the other side. The second aim is to compare the observed effects of the program in this study to a previous M2M study that groups participants based on disability type. The third aim of this study is to test whether adherence (defined as attendance to the 12-week program) affects the effects of M2M in participants with physical/mobility disabilities. The potential influences of different functional mobility and disabilities of participants on how the program affects participants' health and fitness outcomes will also be tested.