Report: Basic & Translational Research in Cerebral Palsy

March 24-25, 2016

National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD

Sponsors: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

The Workshop on Basic and Translational Research in Cerebral Palsy (CP) was convened by NINDS and NICHD to advance understanding of the state of CP science and to identify obstacles impeding the movement of fundamental science discoveries toward clinical treatment strategies.  It follows on the State-of-the-Science and Treatment Decisions in Cerebral Palsy Workshop, convened by NICHD and NINDS in November 2014 and which began the information-gathering process necessary to generate a comprehensive strategic research plan for CP.

This second workshop brought together over 100 scientists, clinicians, advocates, and other stakeholders in CP.  It included 16 talks and panel discussions addressing four major themes:

  1. Research performed in non-human animals and the relevance to CP and therapeutic development
  2. Potential neuroprotective and neuroreparative strategies for CP
  3. Appropriateness of neuroimaging biomarkers for CP diagnosis
  4. Potential use of interventions promoting neuroplasticity to improve function in CP

Over the course of the workshop, speakers identified research gaps and proposed recommendations to advance the field.  To advance the basic science, they identified the need to develop better biomarkers of brain injury; monitor biomarkers in real-time to identify onset, progression, and severity of early injury; and to identify critical periods of brain and motor development.  To facilitate the translation of research into better treatments, they suggested developing a multi-insult metric to define the risk profile for CP; collecting and utilizing genomic, epigenetic, and metabolomic information; and identifying which patients would benefit from which therapies.  In addition, participants highlighted the promise of combination therapies targeting different pathways.  The planned output of the workshop will include a publication summarizing discussions and recommendations, the production of which will help fuel the development of the CP strategic plan.

A videocast of the workshop is available at:

Day 1

Day 2