Physiotherapists at Brunel University London are looking for teenagers with cerebral palsy to take part in a new research trial starting in February and March, 2016. Dr Jennifer Ryan and Grace Lavelle want to see if doing strengthening exercises for the calf muscles can make it easier for teenagers with cerebral palsy to walk.
Dr Ryan explains why, “Strength training is designed to make your muscles stronger. It has been shown that people with cerebral palsy have weak calf muscles, which may prevent them from carrying out activities such as walking, running or climbing stairs. In this study we are aiming to strengthen the calf muscles as we think this will make these activities easier to do.”
The team are looking for 10 to 19 year olds with cerebral palsy levels who are able to walk with or without a walking aid) Those taking part will be assigned to an exercise class or control group and will take part in 10 sessions at the location near their home and three assessments at Brunel in Uxbridge.
Grace outlines what happens during the 10 week study, “At the beginning, we will ask parents and young people to complete questionnaires. We will measure how much physical activity they do, we will measure their muscle strength and we will also look at how their muscles move when they walk.”
Those who are chosen to take part in the exercise group will exercise one day a week for 10 weeks in a local gym with other teenagers and do exercises on two other days a week (for about 20 minutes) at home. Physiotherapists will prescribe the exercises.
There is no payment offered for taking part in this trial, but everyone who completes the study will receive a £20 Love2shop voucher and the team can cover transport costs to Brunel University for assessments. Parents are fully informed and encouraged to be present throughout the trial and their consent is needed to take part if the teenager is under 16 years of age. All information collected will remain confidential. The study is funded by Action Medical Research and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Charitable Trust.
Visit http://thestartrial.org/ for more information.
Swiss Cottage: The research trial in Swiss Cottage starts on 19 February and will continue until 30 April inclusive of the Easter holidays. The location will be confirmed on booking.
Brunel University London: The research trial at Brunel University London in Hillingdon starts February/March and will continue until April/May inclusive of the Easter holidays. The location will be confirmed on booking.