In 2010, approximately 35,000 people in Ontario were identified as having Cerebral Palsy. It is caused by an injury to the brain, usually as a result of a stroke before, during or shortly after birth. The result is weakness or partial paralysis, potentially compounded by challenges to thinking and communicating, as well as seizures and uncontrollable behaviour. In addition to the devastating impact on individuals and their families, the average annual cost to the health care system for an individual with Cerebral Palsy is approximately $10,000. The Ontario Brain Institute challenged neuroscientists across the province to come up with a new approach to addressing Cerebral Palsy, in the context of an Integrated Discovery Program. The Cerebral Palsy Integrated Discovery Network (CP-NET) program is a research-based innovative initiative designed to improve the care of Cerebral Palsy from prevention to treatment.
CP-NET’s mandate is to ensure that discoveries are transformed into new diagnostics, treatments and improved clinical practice. The emphasis is on translational science and involves a province-wide collaboration between Ontario’s world-class cerebral palsy researchers and clinicians, patient advocacy groups and the industrial sector.
The investigators in the program are involved in studying Cerebral Palsy from a wide range of viewpoints, including genomics, imaging, clinical and robotics. This collaborative initiative is improving the understanding of cerebral palsy and rehabilitative outcomes, bridging the translational gap and accelerating the development of new treatments for children with cerebral palsy.
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