NINDS/NICHD Strategic Plan for Cerebral Palsy Research

NINDS/NICHD Strategic Plan for Cerebral Palsy Research


Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, and/or posture and that result from damage to the developing brain, most often before birth. The prevalence of cerebral palsy in childhood in the US is estimated to be around 3 per 1000, and although neuroprotective treatments already in use may prevent or attenuate cerebral palsy in some at-risk infants, better interventions are needed. Moreover, few, if any, brain-targeted treatments exist that result in strong and consistent functional improvement for children and adults living with cerebral palsy. 

NINDS and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) developed this plan in response to Congressional and community interest, and in recognition of opportunities to address the burden of cerebral palsy through research. To identify research priorities, NINDS and NICHD held two workshops in 2014 and 2016, which brought together scientists, clinicians, and advocates for individuals affected by cerebral palsy. Based on workshop discussions, high priority recommendations were classified into three main areas: basic and translational research, clinical research, and workforce development. The recommendations were shared with workshop participants and the advisory council to NINDS, and they were posted for public comment between March 15 and April 7, 2017. The final NINDS/NICHD Strategic Plan for Cerebral Palsy Research presents these recommendations as a collective vision for the cerebral palsy research community to advance together over the next 5-10 years. 

View the 2017 NINDS/NICHD Strategic Plan for Cerebral Palsy Research (pdf, 738 kb).

Related resources

Director’s message
NINDS Cerebral Palsy Information Page
NICHD Cerebral Palsy Overview