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April 27, 2012

CIBC, Holland Bloorview Hospital Sponsor Physical Therapy Research for Kids with Cerebral Palsy

CIBC and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Canada announced today that they will conduct a $1-million clincial study to evaluate the impact robotic-assisted gait training has on children with cerebral palsy, according to a press release.

Using donations from CIBC, THREE TO BE and KRG Children's Charitable Foundation, Holland Bloorview will conduct the clinical research trial with the Pediatric Lokomat Pro. The device supports those with walking difficulties to achieve an automated gait by using a treadmill.

One out of every 300 children in Canada has cerebral palsy, and it is the most common childhood physical disability in the country, according to the source. Statistics are almost the same in the U.S., with one out of every 303 children affected by the disease.

According to the CDC, cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that impede a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

"There is a lot of excitement about the innovative use of robotics in treatments and therapies for children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders,” said Dr. Virginia Wright, Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute. “We are tremendously grateful to our partners for supporting this exciting development in research at Holland Bloorview. This research holds great promise for revolutionary new therapies for children with cerebral palsy."

The two-and-a-half year clinical research study, funded by a $500,000 grant from CIBC, will allow Holland Bloorview to pursue best practices and guidelines for clinical use of robotic therapy, using the Lokomat, for children with different severities of cerebral palsy.

"At CIBC we care about what matters – especially kids, cures and community,” said Geoff Belsher, managing director and group co-head, wholesale banking, CIBC. “If this research finds news therapies for kids with disabilities, then our Miracle Day aspiration of helping kids who need it the most will be realized."

Robotic therapy helps children who have problems walking by making physical therapy “more stimulating and engaging, more effective and more inclusive for children with different walking abilities and goals,” according to the press release.

Holland Bloorview also introduced a social networking community for its patients late last year, to keep kids better connected in Canada.

Edited by Braden Becker

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