Synopsis of resource
This Care Pathway describes why early detection of cerebral palsy is necessary. The evidence indicates that there are two major pathways to accurate and early detection of cerebral palsy depending on the infant’s age at the time of assessment using different tests in combination with the clinical examination. This pathway outlines both processes: 1) for infants under 5 months and 2) for infants over 5 months of age. For each it describes a “most accurate method” and a method “in context where MRI is not safe or affordable”
This is a guide on how to make an early diagnosis of cerebral palsy from the neonatal age, both in resource rich and resource limited settings. It proposes early simple yet effective interventions to change infant’s motor behaviour utilizing the period of neuro and muscle plasticity. This evidence summary of the early detection of CP pathway has special considerations and recommendations to low- and middle-income countries as well, and it can be practised anywhere with the right training on the specified tools of assessment.
Key learning outcome
- Describe the importance of early detection of cerebral palsy (CP)
- Describe a systematic approach to early identification for infants younger than 5 months of age.
- Describe a systematic approach to early identification for infants older than 5 months of age
Professor Iona Novak is Co-founder and Head of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute. She manages the strategic development of research into the prevention and cure of cerebral palsy and supports the Australian Cerebral Palsy Register. Professor Novak is a Fulbright Scholar focused on conducting a research program of neuro-protective, neuro-regenerative and neuro-rehabilitative clinical trials in cerebral palsy.
Professor Novak conducts clinical research into effective interventions for people living with cerebral palsy, including evidence-based practice initiatives and collaborative international and inter-agency research work. She has extensive clinical experience as an Occupational Therapist and holds: a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Sydney; a Master of Science (Hons) and a PhD from the Western Sydney University.