Quantitative Analysis of Upper Limb Function among Children with Cerebral Palsy

Erin Butler, Neukom Fellow, Thayer School of Engineering

Friday, October 4, 2013, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

The ability to reach, grasp, transport, and release objects is central to activities of daily living, such as feeding and grooming. However, children with cerebral palsy (CP) often have difficulty with these tasks. While it is challenging to characterize and quantify specific upper limb movement disorders in CP, it is essential for identifying the underlying neural correlates and etiology, assessing the quality of movement, and evaluating treatment outcomes. However, current methods for measuring upper limb motion deficits are based predominantly on subjective, observational assessments, which limit their reliability and repeatability. Thus, I will be presenting work focused on the conception, development, and validation of a upper limb model and protocol using quantitative three-dimensional motion analysis for assessing the severity and type of motor impairment in children with CP. The goal of this work is to improve the treatment and evaluation of CP, and to converge upon the long-term trend toward evidence-based medicine.

Erin Butler

About the Speaker

Erin Butler's research uses three-dimensional motion analysis and advanced neuroimaging techniques to better understand and improve the treatment of human movement disorders. Erin holds a B.S.E. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Stanford University. She is currently a Neukom Fellow at Thayer School.