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Neurologic Correlates of Motor Function in Cerebral Palsy: Opportunities for Targeted Treatment

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This Research Topic will feature a collection of articles that focus on the neurologic correlates of motor function in cerebral palsy including implications for targeted treatment. Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a heterogeneous group of permanent motor-impairment disorders typically diagnosed by neuroimaging, ...

This Research Topic will feature a collection of articles that focus on the neurologic correlates of motor function in cerebral palsy including implications for targeted treatment. Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a heterogeneous group of permanent motor-impairment disorders typically diagnosed by neuroimaging, the presence of abnormal muscle tone or posture, delay in reaching motor milestones, or the presence of gait abnormalities in young children. The underlying etiology or pathogenesis is often a non-progressive lesion in the periventricular white matter of the developing fetal or infant brain. Neuroimaging plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of CP, the understanding of underlying neuropathology, as well as the monitoring of the efficacy of targeted treatment. Specific patterns of neurological injury have been identified by neuroimaging in high-risk neonates and children diagnosed with CP. However, insufficient precision of the currently available neuroimaging methods precludes the identification of such neurological injury patterns in all children with CP.

Here, we propose a collection of articles focusing on the nature of the brain injury in CP, the sensorimotor and neuromuscular deficits common among children with CP, and the implications for targeted treatment. This Research Topic will include original research, reviews, methods, and case studies that examine the neurologic correlates of gait and upper limb motor function in CP by addressing:

1.Brain injury in terms of mechanism, pattern, extent and timing during the prenatal, perinatal, or postnatal period in preterm and term-born children and associated sensorimotor and neuromuscular deficits of spastic, dyskinetic, and ataxic CP.
2. The influence of sensorimotor and neuromuscular deficits on movement in CP
3. Implications for targeted treatment for CP, such as stem cell therapies, robotic-assisted rehab, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, bimanual and constraint-induced therapies.

This collection of articles investigates the neural basis of movement abnormalities in CP by highlighting links between location and extent of brain injury, type and severity of CP, sensory and neuromuscular deficits, and associated movement abnormalities. Targeted treatment designed to substantially improve functional outcomes will also be addressed. By providing this context, we can promote relevant future research that can reduce the long-term debilitating effects of CP.


Keywords: Neuroimaging, brain injury, cerebral palsy, motor function, sensorimotor function, gait, rehabilitation


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