How Sparks wants to change the lives of children with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy affects around one in every 400 children in the UK. Although the exact cause is not always obvious, it can occur if the brain is damaged in early life or develops abnormally.
It’s a condition that affects muscle control and movement, and varies greatly depending on the type of cerebral palsy and how severe the condition is.. Many children have muscle spasms and weakness or difficulty learning to crawl, walk or talk. For some children, it’s a combination of them all.
About 15% of all cerebral palsy cases have dystonic cerebral palsy and this causes uncontrolled, involuntary muscle contractions. Children with this type of cerebral palsy often have whole body spasms and find their movements very difficult to control.
While there’s currently no cure, a team of Sparks-funded researchers in Bath, led by Dr Tim Adlam, are working on a project to improve the quality of life for children with dystonic cerebral palsy. They’re developing a seat that gently moves with young children aged between 3 and 5, especially during spasms. It’s hoped that the seat will allow children more freedom of their movements, allow them to strengthen their posture and therefore help them reach more developmental milestones.
Dr Tim Adlam says that one of the best outcomes would be that “children are able to learn how to control their bodies better than they can otherwise, that they’re able to problem-solve, and trouble-shoot their own disability”.
As well as improving a child’s physical condition, a seat like this could help children participate more in social activities, from helping them to communicate better to helping them be able to participate in playgroup and family activities.
You can find out more about this innovative research project from Dr Adlam himself, by watching this short video.
Sparks has awarded Dr Adlam and his team a grant of over £83,500 to carry out this research, that’s over £5,500 a month to support this important study. If you’d like to help us fund this project and others, make a donation today.
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Would you be happy with a robot for company? - May 16, 2019
- Should the Jeremy Kyle show be dropped? - May 15, 2019
- Make the decision to stay in the home you love - May 13, 2019
- Will you be voting in the European Elections this month? - May 10, 2019
- Should schools bring back afternoon breaks? - May 10, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!