Longitudinal Study of Locomotor Activity in Infants and Toddlers with Spina Bifida
Principal Investigator: Beverly Ulrich, Ph.D.
The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the development of leg control
in infants born with and without spina bifida. We will focus on the quality (smoothness
and coordination) and quantity of infants' and toddlers' stepping movements from the time
they are one month until the child has 3 months of walking experience. We expect that our
results will help us understand the impact of internal (spinal cord lesions) and external
factors (environmental influences) on motor skill acquisition in infants.
Who can take part in this study?
Infants and toddlers born with spina bifida and typically developing infants will participate
in this study. Infants with spina bifida must have no known chromosomal anomalies or CNS
abnormalities with the exception of ones known to be associated with spina bifida, such as
hydrocephalus and Arnold Chiari syndrome. Infants with typical development must be free from
any known genetic, motor, or cognitive disorders.
Each child will be followed from one month of age until he/she is 18 months of age, plus
each child will be tested when he/she first begins to walk independently and when he/she has
3 months of walking experience, for a total of 7-8 visits per child. The actual age at which
each child completes the study will be dependent on the child's own development, ending at
either 18 months (if 3 months of walking experience occurs before age 18 months) or after
(if 3 months of walking experience occurs after age 18 months). Each visit takes about 1.5
hours for data collection. The entire study is expected to last about five years.
If you would like to learn more about participating in one of our studies, please call
us at (734) 615-1494 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When calling, please request Cheryl
Drenning and reference the Spina Bifida study.
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