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Connect Adults With Cerebral Palsy To Virtual Trainers At Home

Armen Hareyan's picture

Exercise For Adults

New online movement-based exercise program at University of Michigan targets adults with CP to maintain mobility, function from the comfort of their home.

Forty-one-year-old Laura Gable has lived her entire life with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that appears in infancy or early childhood, and permanently affects body movement and posture. As she's grown older, Gable has noticed the pain and stiffness, and other motor affects associated with her cerebral palsy have worsened.

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"When I get stiff, I have a hard time reaching in the cupboard for dishes, putting on my clothes and even tying my shoes," says Gable. "Very simple things that a lot of people don't think are hard, becoming really difficult for me."

While physical and occupation therapy bring relief, many adults with cerebral palsy like Gable find juggling busy work and family schedules leaves little time to attend regular therapy sessions outside the home. Adding to that, some insurance companies do not cover physical and occupational therapy for adults with cerebral palsy.

But what if patients could complete regular therapy exercises from the comfort of their home? Using an Internet connection and an at-home computer interface, that's exactly what a new program developed by experts at the University of Michigan Health System and the U-M Division of Kinesiology aims to do: Make movement-based training more convenient and assessable to adults with cerebral palsy.

This joint research and movement therapy project