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Lower limb strength training for children with cerebral palsy receiving Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A): Outcome Evaluations at all levels of the ICF
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the most common and widely recognised childhood physical disabilities in the world. Spasticity of the muscle is thought to be a major cause of motor dysfunction and difficulties in mobility for children with CP. Botulinum Toxin Type-A (BoNT-A) injections have been shown to improve difficulties in mobility frequently experienced by the children with cerebral palsy. However, whilst BoNT-A plays a major role in the current treatment for spasticity, research is now pointing to muscular weakness as a significant impairment in children with spastic CP. Evidence for the success of strength training therapies in children with spastic CP reports benefits such as strength gains, improved self concept, gait and functional improvements.
This research is investigating the combination of BoNT-A therapy and targeted lower limb strength training coinciding as an overall management strategy to achieve the best possible outcome for children with CP.
The outcomes of this study have implications for the development of ‘best practice’ standards of care and the development of protocols for the long term use of BoNT-A in children with CP. This has the potential to improve current treatment options available to children with movement dysfunction, specifically children with CP. In a wider sense, outcomes from this project could significantly improve strength, functionality and quality of life for children with cerebral palsy presenting with spasticity and muscular weakness. This programme is directly applicable to therapy providers as it will present information on best practice in the care of children with CP and the efficient allocation of resources to provide this care with regard to timing of interventions around the receipt of BoNT-A.