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The MAL has launched a study entitled “EMG modules as a novel biomarker of basal ganglia plasticity in Parkinson’s disease”. The study funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation aims to identify specific characteristics of muscle activity that could be linked to changes within the brain that are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

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Research

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A Touchscreen System for Rehabilitation of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive motor conditions caused by disturbances to the developing brain, causing an impairment in motor function. Traditionally, therapy for children with cerebral palsy involves a child performing repeated movements of their arms, hands and fingers. Therapists try to make these movements into games to keep children motivated and interested. In order to move one step further, we are designing a large touchscreen system featuring novel interactive games geared specifically toward children with cerebral palsy. Through fun, interactive games, we hope to encourage these children to make motions that will be therapeutic and assist with rehabilitation.  We are using a Microsoft Surface multi-touch device mounted in a custom-built frame allowing the unit to be raised and tilted toward the user. This facilitates use by children of all ages as well as those in wheelchairs.

The project is in collaboration with Chia Shen at Harvard University and Jim Niemi at the Wyss Institute. Technical support is being provided by John Campbell, Chief Information Officer at Spaulding.  The project is being funded, in part, by the Alden Trust and the Peabody Foundation.