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Medical Edge: CP clinical trial

Updated: Wednesday, February 26 2014, 04:54 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- He's made major progress but shortly after William, who's now ten, was born his parents noticed he wasn't using the right side of his body.

It was all likely due to a type of cerebral palsy caused by a stroke usually in the womb.  Amy Bailes, a research physical therapist, is now part of a national trial to help study it.

Bailes said, "I am working on a study for children who have hemiplegic cerebral palsy which means that one side of their body isn't working as well.  It's not as strong, it's not as coordinated.

As part of this study William now wears what's called a "functional electrical stimulation device."  He says it feels, "Like bugs crawling up your legs," but it doesn't hurt him.

It's electrical stimulation so it stimulates the nerve that makes the muscle in the front of the leg turn on to lift up the foot when you are walking.  The idea behind all this is that while they do these motions, they also can do other things in life that we often take for granted.  Such as going up and down the stairs or rock climbing.

Bailes tells us, "And we're hoping that in addition to having effects while it's worn, that there will be some carry over.  That the leg will be stronger, balances better so eventually they won't have to wear that and they won't have to wear a brace."

Already William has seen improvement.  The real goal?

William says, "I'm hoping to play basketball someday."Medical Edge: CP clinical trial


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