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This improvement is due to dedicated pediatric care from teams of specialists who help patients reach their full potential during childhood; with independent walking being an important step in achieving this goal.
Walking is essential to overall well being and an integral part of pediatric care is to test walking ability in a clinical gait laboratory, like the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis (CGMA) at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Over its 16 year history, CGMA has tested over 3,500 patients, most with cerebral palsy and many now outgrowing the pediatric system and moving to adult providers for their care.
While cerebral palsy is considered a childhood condition, it is a lifelong disease that presents challenges at every stage of development. Eventually, all kids grow into adults and by the age of 21 individuals with CP have to find a new care team to support them as they age.
While care teams including specialists from multiple disciplines are common at children’s hospitals, they are harder to find in adult hospitals. As an adult, finding a program that integrates gait (walking) analysis into decision-making is almost non-existent. Clinical gait labs serving adults are rare and many insurance companies, even those that support pediatric gait analysis, often do not cover gait analysis for adults.
Decline in walking ability is one of the most commonly reported problems by adults with cerebral palsy. Research has shown that many health conditions associated with aging can be linked to decreased independent walking and the sedentary lifestyle that often results. By the age of 40, many adults with CP experience symptoms that they describe as premature aging. This includes health conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, pain, arthritis and other conditions associated with older adults.
Cerebral Palsy Adult Transition Longitudinal Study (CPAT)
The first study to evaluate the walking ability, overall health and quality of life of adults with CP who have moved from pediatric to adult care.
The Cerebral Palsy Adult Transition Study (CPAT) is being conducted by a research team at Children's Hospital Colorado led by Dr. James Carollo.
The study combines longitudinal measures of walking ability with current health measures (physical, metabolic and physiologic biomarkers, cognitive and quality of life tests) to better understand the complex interactions of persistent abnormal movement and motor performance.
Does walking ability affect health?
As part of CPAT, the research team plans to learn more about people with CP and their health as they age and what influence their walking ability has on their current health status.
Researchers believe that by maintaining the walking abilities that individuals with CP achieve as children, they can stay healthy, independent, confident and active as they grow into adulthood. They also believe that evidence gained from this study will help raise awareness of the concerns of adults with cerebral palsy, and the need for continued assessment of walking ability over the lifespan.
Former patients of the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis (CGMA) at Children’s Colorado, who performed a gait analysis as a child, may eligible to participate in this study. See below for details.
What can I expect from the study?
If you are eligible to join the study, you will come to the CGMA at Children’s Colorado to participate in a physical exam, gait analysis and standard blood draw. You will also complete questionnaires related to your physical and mental health.
The study takes place over four visits at the CGMA:
At the end of your final visit, you will receive a gift card of $50.00 in recognition and gratitude for your participation in the study. If you choose not to attend this visit, your health passport and gift card will be mailed to you.
The Center for Gait and Movement Analysis is looking for adults with cerebral palsy who’ve had a gait analysis at CGMA as a child.
To be eligible you must be:
If you qualify, you will receive:
If you are a former CGMA patient interested in participating, please contact the study coordinator at 720-777-0930 or email them at email@example.com.
The CPAT study is supported by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Department of Health and Human Services, grant # H133G130200.