The Pediatric Assessment Laboratories (PALs) are a cluster of pediatric-focused projects investigating developmental mechanisms of neuro-motor performance. We contribute to the DPT education program through sponsorship of synthesis projects and pediatric content of their didactic program.
Test of Arm Selective Control (TASC)
As part of a working group initiative in the NIH Taskforce on Childhood Movement Disorders, Drs. Krosschell and Moulton helped to develop a short clinical measure of selective motor control in the upper extremity - the TASC. Two DPT synthesis groups assisted with data collection to estabish reliability (K. Block, J. Barnam, E. Salzman, A. Nichols) and validity (E. Byrne, E. Cameron, A. Robertson, S. Murphy, K. Warner) of the tool. There is a manuscript currently under review for this tool. This study was funded by NIH U13NS061384.
Motor function testing in spinal muscular atrophy
Initiated as a component of the NeuroNext SMA Infant Biomarker study, the goal of this project is to develop a video library of common SMA motor function tests (MFT) for training and reliability use in clinical studies. MFT library utilizaton may enhance rater training and reduce study start-up costs in future clinical trials. This study is funded by MDA287450 and NIH U01NS079163.
Outcomes development in spinal muscular atrophy
The project includes development and assessment of outcome measures for SMA in both clinical practice and research applications.
Cerebral Palsy Research Registry (CPRR)
The CPRR serves to connect researchers with families interested in CP. You can find more information at the main website for this project.
GoBabyGo! Northwestern chapter
DPT students and engineering students collaborate to create adaptive ride-on cars for kids with mobility challenges. We are inspired by the University of Delaware's work and try to host workshops on a regular basis. Contact us if you know someone who would like a car designed for them! This project is supported by the PTHMS department and generous donations.
Joint torque synergies in diplegic cerebral palsy
We are using a unique isometric torque measurement device to measure lower extremity strength and motor coordination strategies. This is done with children and young adults with typical development as well as bilateral cerebral palsy (diplegia).
Development of motor unit firing patterns
We are actively recruiting babies and toddlers to evaluate how they control their muscles. We think this will be a way of understanding typical development better, as well as a key comparison to SMA and CP populations.
Volunteer to participate!
Please let us know if you would like to know more about the studies currently happening, or if you think you might be a good candidate to participate. We also annually recruit typically developing infants and toddlers for labs in the DPT program. Understanding and observing human development is a critical part of our students learning.
Donate to PALs
The funding streams to do our work is variable. While we are constantly seeking new opportunities for funding, if you are able to donate any amount to help our mission, we would be most appreciative!
- Julius P. A. Dewald, PT, PhD
- Sabrina Lee, PhD
- Christine DiDonato, PhD
- Deborah Gaebler-Spira, MD
- Elise Townsend, PT, PhD
- Pathways Center
- Chicago Pediatric Wellness Practice
- LaRabida Rehabilitation Hospital
- Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
- Arlington Heights Pediatric Rehab
- Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital