U of M Researchers Utilize Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Adolescent Cerebral Palsy Treatment
April 11, 2013
By Brian Johnson
U of M assistant professor Bernadette Gillick, Ph.D., appeared on WCCO Radio to discuss how her lab, only one of two in North America, is testing a ground-breaking brain stimulation therapy on children with Cerebral palsy.
Gillick, who studies children who have had strokes before, during, or immediately after the time of birth, is implementing a new noninvasive technique on the child’s scalp to “excite” brain cells around the stroke area or equalize what’s happening in brain cells on either side of the brain to contribute to movement.
Her lab has recruited kids between the ages of eight and 18 years old, and so far, eleven children have met the stringent criteria to participate in the study with an end goal of having 20 children complete the study.
“I keep the criteria very strict because I want to keep the children as safe as possible,” Gillick said.
The brain stimulation treatment, which is painless, doesn’t have any severe side effects. In most cases, children haven’t reported any abnormalities.
“The most commonly reported side effect is a tingling sensation while brain stimulation is occurring,” Gillick said.
The therapy has shown positive effects on its participants. Kids who previously could not use their right arm are now able to brush their teeth with their right hand or even drive.
The most important thing when it comes to performing rehabilitation therapies with children, Gillick said, is to determine what their goal is.
The interview begins around the halfway mark.
To learn more about Gillick’s study please contact the Gillick Lab at 612-626-6415.