Active Research Projects

Assessing Pain in Cerebral Palsy Patients Using Chemical Biomarkers

While many CP patients are capable of reporting the frequency and intensity of their pain, assessment of pain is challenging among those whose physical or intellectual disabilities make communication difficult. The purpose of this pilot study is to determine if biological chemicals expressed by the body in response to pain can be used a proxy for pain measurement.

Assessing Health-Related Quality of Life After Orthopedic Surgery

Often patients who do not have access to adaptive augmentative communication (AAC) devices rely on a proxy to communicate with providers. The aim of this project is to provide in-office AAC devices for people with CP in order to increase the number of patients able to self-report and provide a platform for communication to those previously unheard.

Women's Health Initiative: "Transforming the Health Care of Women with Cerebral Palsy"

The purpose of this multi-center, national study is to identify barriers to and improve the health care of women with CP with various sites taking the lead on important women’s health issues, such as pregnancy and reproductive health, breast health and mammography, and HPV prevention. The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center was tasked with investigating the gynecological needs of women with CP, and to identify service barriers that these women face.

The Cerebral Palsy Hip Outcomes Project (CHOP)

This is a multi-center, international study that examines the longitudinal outcomes of hip pathology in children with CP. This five-arm study aims to divide patients into five treatment cohorts based on the treatment decision made by the attending physician. Treatment cohorts range from natural history/watchful waiting to salvage procedures.

Assessment of Trunk Stability and Postural Control in Children with CP

Investigators developed and tested the clinical assessment tool, Trunk Support Trainer (TruST), to assess and enhance seated trunk stability and postural control in children with CP. In conjunction with the assessment, investigators developed and tested a training protocol for improving trunk control in the most severely affected children with cerebral palsy (GMFCS IV-V). Recruitment for this pilot study is ongoing.

Are Antifibrinolytics Effective for Reducing Blood Loss for Patients with Cerebral Palsy Undergoing Hip Surgery?

Patients with cerebral palsy are well-recognized to be at increased risk for perioperative complications such as excessive blood loss, especially in scoliosis surgery. As a result, surgeons have looked into methods of reducing blood loss through different means, such as using antifibrinolytics during surgery. While antifibrinolytics have been studied for CP scoliosis surgeries, no study has yet examined its use for hip surgical procedures. The goal of this retrospective cohort study is to examine the effectiveness of antifibrinolytics in hip surgical procedures for patients with CP.

Creation of a Novel Risk Severity Score to Predict Pediatric Spine Surgical Site Infection in Patients with Cerebral Palsy

CP is one of the most common childhood disabilities, and up to 67% reportedly have comorbid scoliosis. Surgical treatment of scoliosis, especially neuromuscular etiologies like CP, is associated with high levels of complications. In particular, surgical site infections (SSI) lead to significant physical and financial burden on the patient, caregivers, health care system, and society as a whole. The purpose of this study is to develop a risk severity scoring (RSS) system to predict SSI in children with CP undergoing spinal surgery.

On-Line Speech Testing For Children With Cerebral Palsy 

Many children with cerebral palsy (CP) present with reduced speech intelligibility due to the motor speech disorder of dysarthria. Mobility restrictions and geographic distance, as well as a pandemic, are among the major obstacles to conducting speech-intervention research for this population. Online speech-data collection is a possible solution, if it is feasible and if the data collected are valid. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility and validity of online speech data collection. In this study, the speech of children with dysarthria due to CP will be recorded simultaneously  1) virtually via Zoom online recording and 2) In person via professional audio-recording device sent to the family, as guided by the researcher over Zoom. Completion of the task and comparison of acoustic measures collected from the two recording methods are expected to shed light on whether online speech-data collection is feasible and valid for speech research on children with dysarthria. Such findings could have important implications for making online speech intervention more accessible to the large number of children in need of improved communication locally and internationally. 

Please contact: or (212) 678-8361 to see if your child may qualify. 

Our recruitment criteria:

  • Children ages 4-17 with cerebral palsy and speech that can be difficult to understand
  • Speech needs to be their primary mode of communication
  • Dominant language needs to be English (it's ok if they also speak another language, but English needs to be their primary language)
  • They need to be able to follow short directions (like repeating words and short sentences) 

Measuring Physical Activity in Children with Severe and Profound Disability: An Exploratory Study

Understanding the current levels of physical activity and fitness in the most severely impaired children with cerebral palsy is important for practitioners to design the optimal cardiovascular fitness intervention protocols necessary to address sedentary lifestyles. Accelerometers and wrist-worn heart rate monitors have been validated as reliable and valid measures of physical activity in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP) GMFCS I and II, however no study to date has assessed physical activity (PA) in children within GMFCS levels IV - V. The purpose of this study is to explore PA levels in children with CP classified levels of GMFCS IV – V and to compare PA levels in the home and school environment.

Please contact: Nia I. Mensah, PT, DPT at to see if your child may qualify.

Recruitment Criteria:

  • Prior diagnosis of cerebral palsy
  • Age 5-21 years of age and is not walking full time
  • Full-time student enrolled in an educational program
  • Video recording: two 4-hour periods of daily routines in the home
  • Wear activity monitors on waist and wrist for seven days

Parental Involvement:

  • Introductory 2 – hour session to review the study protocol & learn more about the use of wrist-worn activity and heart rate monitors
  • Maintain wear of monitors on child’s waist & wrist for 7-days

Virtual Reality to Promote Fitness and Functional Mobility in Youth with Cerebral Palsy

Children and youth with cerebral palsy (CP) experience health and motor challenges. Virtual reality and active video games (VR/AVG) have become more accessible and flexible for use in multiple clinical and community environments and are feasible tools to facilitate goals of decreased impairments and increased functional mobility and activity. The purpose of this study is to investigate how VR/AVG interventions can reduce body function and structure (BF/S) impairments and improve motor activities such as walking and reaching.

Please contact: Margaret O’Neil, PT, PhD, MPH at or (212)305-6991 to see if your child may qualify.

Recruitment Criteria:

  • Prior diagnosis of cerebral palsy
  • Age 8-16 years of age
  • Can walk independently with or without assistive device or braces
  • Have not had orthopedic surgery in the last 12 months
  • Have not had Botox injections in the last 3 months
  • Interest in virtual reality (VR) games

For more information or questions pertaining to research at the Weinberg Family CP Center, please contact