Impact of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy on Brain Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Maitre, Nathalie L.
Few studies have examined the effects of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) in children or its effects beyond sensory-motor domains. Evidence from adult populations suggests that CIMT is linked with cortical restructuring and could have effects on speech, language deficits, and sensory-perceptual processes, domains typically affected by cerebral palsy (CP). Using a five-day camp model, CIMT effects were tested on children age 5-12 with CP using behavioral measures and two event-related potential (ERP) paradigms –speech sound perception and picture-word matching. Data were collected at baseline, immediately after treatment, and 6 months after the camp. We found that paretic limb function improved after CIMT, and ERP waveform patters changed significantly to reflect faster processing and improved organization. These changes persisted at 6 months follow-up.