Report of a workshop on research gaps in the treatment of cerebral palsy

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Abstract

Cerebral palsy (CP) is heterogeneous in etiology and manifestations, making research into relevant therapies difficult and limiting the generalizability of the results. We report here on the NIH CP symposium, where stakeholders from academic, clinical, regulatory, and advocacy backgrounds discussed the major challenges and needs for moving forward with clinical research in CP, and outlined priorities and action items. New information is constantly generated through research into pathogenesis and etiology. Clinical research and new therapeutic approaches need to keep pace, through large data registry integration and new research designs. Development of standardized data collection, increasing academic focus on CP research, and iterative approaches to treatment throughout the patients' lives, have all been identified as areas of focus. The workshop identified critical gaps and areas of focus to increase the evidence base for therapeutic approaches to determine which treatments work best for which patients in the near future. These include consolidation and optimization of databases and registries, updates to the research methodology, and better integration of resources and stakeholders.

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