Adults with Cerebral Palsy
Happy New Year!
I am currently in my final year of a BSc sports and exercise science degree
at South Bank University
in London. For a piece of biomechanics coursework we are required to discuss
gait deviations in adult
cerebral palsy from that of a normal population and also to discuss possible
intervention strategies aimed at improving functional gait. I am having
trouble finding data on cerebral
palsy in an adult population. I have read through James Gage's book 'Gait
Analysis in Cerebral Palsy',
and have read quite a few journal articles on cerebral palsy in children,
yet I am not sure whether this
source data is suitable for a discussion of cerebral palsy in adults.
Another option I have followed has been to look into gait deviation with
accidents such as cerebrovascular trauma/stroke but I am not sure whether
I would be able to use this
data either, as the
patients had a functional pyramidal system prior to the accidents/stroke
and so had already developed
walking patterns that could be transferred to the extrapyramidal system.
Dr Chris Kirtley kindly suggested posting my query and so here I am. Any
advice/direction about this
topic would be much appreciated.
I am not sure that I am on track with the meaning you have in mind
in terms of data, but here are some resources that may help you.
The Adult With Cerebral Palsy
Clyde E. Rapp, Jr, MD; Margarita M. Torres, MD
Archives of Family Medicine
Vol. 9 No. 5, May 2000
>From the abstract:
A MEDLINE search of all English-language publications related to cerebral
palsy from 1985 to 1999 was conducted. Other older references also
obtained from articles published during this period. Our personal
experiences in caring for a group of approximately 300 adults with
cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities in specialized
for nearly a decade are used frequently throughout this review. Emphasis
is given to studies of adults. Studies of children are included because
there is a lack of data on adults.
Physical Therapy Volume 82 Number 7 July 2002
Effect of Passive Range of Motion Exercises on Lower-Extremity Goniometric
Measurements of Adults With Cerebral Palsy: A Single-Subject Design
Sherri L Cadenhead, Irene R McEwen, and David M Thompson
Life expectancy in persons with severe developmental disability
by Edward HOFFMAN
Representation of Temporal Spatial Gait Parameters Using Means In Adults
WithoutImpairmentMarcus P. Besser, PhD, Keith Kmieczak, MS PT, Lauren
Schwartz, MS PT, MollySnyderman, MS PT, Jeremy Wasko, MS PT, Lisa
Selby-Silverstein, PhD PT NCSDepartment of Physical Therapy, Thomas
Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
GAIT STUDIES in Cerebral Palsy Adults
I hope that these citations will be helpful to your research.
(215) 204 - 4584
Hello, and Happy New Year to all,
In response to Ms. Evans' questions I have only some clinical
reminiscences, but over a period of 30 years of orthopedic practice,
of which were primarily with children, I have seen probably fewer than
10 adults with CP, all of whom were sent to me "because the adult
orthopedists said they didn't know much about CP". I can't recall
of their gait problems were the same as the others--that is, they all
seemed individualistic problems, and often secondary to their ADL
.[activities of daily living] circumstances. E.g. a woman
in her 50s,
walking all her life, moved from California to Pennsylvania to live
family member,and had pain in both feet--which eventually turned out
be stress fractures from the increased stress of climbing stairs daily
[which she didn't do in Calif.]. Rest [in casts]x about 1 month
modified shoes significantly improved her gait to "how it was before".
I'll be very interested in what you
can find, but it may take a large
survey to identify types of problems.
I would second the other answer to this query. the most recent
have had with adult cp's was a lady in her fifties who required dorsiflexion
assist below knee metal afo's (klensac's) to prevent foot-drop.
it is an interesting point though, the lack of cp patients seen in
adult life compared to their younger years. where do they all
My experience has been that they fall into one of two primary classes:
They have been convinced that all that can be done has been done
Insurance companies refuse to continue covering their expenses, and they
simply can't afford the cost of care especially, that of orthotic management.
no particular suggestion, but just my support that you're on the right
Please remember that the principles of biomechanical intervention strategies
quite independent of the pathological origin of the impairments/disablities
. So a mixture of what
is known from adult hemiplegia or cerebral palsied ch. in general will
you enough material.
In the growing child biomechanical based interventions like muscle
elongations are applied with reluctance,
since the child is growing, which might interfere. Such considerations
absent in the adult,
so biomechanical based interventions are much more relevant.
Please look also at orthosis as a basis for interventiuon, not only
interventions, which are
more frequently avalable in literature,
kind regards and succes ,
An interesting question. In addition to the lack of data on CP in adults
there is a lack of therapy. The two might be related. Many children
of get therapy once a week up to the age of 16 or similar when they
"adults" and then get no therapy after that.
You are right, I think, to be cautious about extrapolating from adults
strokes etc. The acquisition of walking is not just dependent upon
pyramidal system but also upon many other descending pathways, and
circuits. One feature that is often neglected is the control of balance
which patients with stroke and CP are likely to have had very different
A further problem is that many, but not all, patients with stroke are
elderly and therefore are likely to have acquired supplementary movement
problems, possibly due to arthritis etc.
Not a lot of help I guess. Bear in mind that although the injury in
non-progressive, its effects tend to be as the body becomes larger
issue of motor control more complex.
MRC Human Movement Group
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement
Institute of Neurology, UCL
8-11 Queen Square
London WC1N 3BG
Tel. 020 7829 8725 ext 4120.
& Implanted Devices Group
Dept. of Medical Physics and Bioengineering
University College London
Adults with cerebral palsy really constitute a different set of problems
than the kids. In the first place, they can not tolerate the
correction" type of approach that we use in children. If they
surgery it has to be much more limited and then the rehabilitation
more intense and lasts longer as well. They have a host of
social-psychological problems (including clinical depression in a
significant number of them). Finally, they have degenerative
such as arthritis of the hip or spine superimposed on the underlying
With warm regards,
I am presently writing a grant to study mobility
and activity and developement of secondary conditions in adults
with CP. I am a pediatric PT by trade but I find my population
with CP facing aging issues. There is very little literature
on adults with CP.
Damiano and Abel did a gait study with adults with
CP (1999 or 2000?) that might provide you with some info. Margaret
Turk and colleagues at SUNY are doing research into issues of aging
CP.Not much else out there and especially with gait. By the time
children with CP who were ambulatory get to be adults, a majority of
chose to move to a w/c secondary to pain, deformities and energy
requirements, so really not much data on adult with CP who ambulate.
add me to your list. A colleague of mine forwarded the list messages
me knowing that I would be interested.
I have seen many adults with cerebral palsy over the course of my career
as a physical therapist who were referred for complaints of pain, increase
in history of falls, complaints of joint pain and overuse syndomes, especially
of the lower extremities. All of them had different postural organization
and gait characteristics. Many of them had tendon lengthening procedures
or osteotomies of the lower extremities to try to "correct their gaits".
As you noted, there is very little documented on adults with Cerebral
Palsy. The following articles may be useful to you:
Murphy, K. P. 1995 Flynn J. M., Miller F 2002 Currie, DM 1993 and Root
You may want to put in searches that cross reference cerebral palsy
with older adults and with overuse injuries, pain, lower back pain, foot
problems, crouch gait, scissoring gait....
Terri Miller, MS, PT
You might try The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental
Medicine. They can be reached at: www.aacpdm.org.
Their monthly journal (Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology) is
Best of luck,