Neuropsychological status and effect of cognitive training in children with cerebral palsy (CP)

Institution: Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology

Investigator(s): Dr. Gro Løhaugen, Professor Jon Skranes, Professor Anders Dale

Program: Cogmed JM

Background & Aim: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood (2-3 per 1000 live born) and is frequently accompanied by cognitive impairments and behavioral problems. Children with CP are at increased risk of ADD/ ADHD, disorders characterized by low working memory (WM). CP with cognitive deficits represents a significant burden on patients, their families and society. Even so, evidence-based treatment is lacking for most treatment modalities in children with CP in general and completely for interventions aiming to improve deficits in cognition, learning and behavior. The aim of this study is to present cognitive profiles reflecting neuropsychological functions in children with different forms of CP with varied etiology: children born at term with unilateral CP and children born preterm with bilateral CP, to study if Cogmed can improve WM of children with CP and improve learning abilities and behavior, to assess if the intervention is effective and leads to beneficial effects over time as well as, to increase understanding of the mechanisms underlying a potential plasticity in the developing and injured brain.

Population & Sample Size: N = 115 children born at term with unilateral or bilateral CP, ages 7 – 15 years

Design: Stepped-wedge, Test-retest, 6 month follow-up