2014 Summit Report


Early Identification and Early Neurorehabilitation in CP

Dates: 1st- 2nd July 2014

Venue: Vienna, Austria

IMPACT for CP generously funded by the Balnaves Foundation brought together some of the world’s leading researchers to present their latest findings and define a research agenda to move the field forward. These researchers were invited to attend and work together to agree on a research plan to accelerate outcomes research and translation of findings into clinical practice. The summit was held in Vienna, Austria on the 1st and 2nd of July, just prior to the European Academy of Childhood Disability annual conference.

Despite advances in neuroimaging techniques, early identification of CP is challenging, with the average age of diagnosis occurring between 18 months and 2 years of age. Late detection often delays the onset of early neurorehabilitation and creates difficulties in recruiting to these and other studies. Neuroplasticity evidence increasingly points to the importance of intervening early after brain injury to optimise motor and cognitive outcomes.

The purpose of the summit was to:

  1. Review the state of the evidence regarding identification of CP in infancy and make recommendations for early detection with a plan to translate into clinical practice
  2. Review the state of the evidence regarding the efficacy of current early neurorehabilitation interventions for infants with CP or at very high risk of CP
  3. Define a research agenda for the next wave of intervention studies with a recommended core set of measures and common data elements
  4. Prepare findings of the summit as guidelines for publication

Summit outcomes included:

  1. An agreement for the development publication, and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines on the early detection and neurorehabilitation of CP

The guideline will include the following recommendations:

  • Early detection of infants at high risk of CP under 5 months using General Movements Assessment (human scored) + MRI for high risk infants
  • Using best available neurological assessments and motor measures to screen for CP (3-24mon) & as a diagnostic alternative when GMs & MRI are not available
  1. The identification of research gaps including:
  • A need for the development of non-motor cognitive function test for young infants.
  • Longitudinal studies of infants at high risk of CP
  • Multicentre trial of active motor intervention for infants at high risk of CP



Prof Nadia Badawi, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead; Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia

Prof Roslyn Boyd, Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, University of Queensland, Australia

Dr Susan Greaves, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Petra Karlsson, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, University of Notre Dame Australia

Dr Alison Loughran-Fowlds, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia

Dr Sarah McIntyre, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, University of Notre Dame Australia

Cathy Morgan, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, University of Notre Dame Australia

Prof Iona Novak, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, University of Notre Dame Australia

Prof Roberta Shepherd, University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Alicia Spittle, Royal Women’s Hospital, University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Jane Valentine, University of Western Australia, Australia

Dr Karen Walker, Cerebral Palsy Research alliance, University of Sydney, Australia

Mr Rob White, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia

Mr William Bartlett, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia


Dr Angelina Kakooza, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


Dr Lars Adde, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Prof Giovanni Cioni, University of Pisa, Italy

Prof Linda S. de Vries, UMCU, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, The Netherlands

Prof Ann-Christin Eliasson, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Prof Christa Einspieler, University of Graz, Austria

Prof Hans Forssberg, Karolinska institute, Sweden

Prof Mijna Hadders-Algra, University medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands

A/Prof Andrea Guzzetta, University of Pisa, Italy

A/Prof Lena Krumlinde-Sundholm, Karolinska institute, Sweden

Dr Kerstin Pannek, Imperial College London, UK

Dr Lindsay Pennington, Newcastle University, UK

Dr Domenico Romeo, Catholic university, Rome, Italy

Dr Beatrice Latal, University Children’s Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland


Dr James A. Blackman, Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, USA

Dr Janice E. Brunstrom-Hernandez, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, USA

Prof Dianne Damiano, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda

Prof Johanna Darrah, University of Alberta, Canada

Prof Darcy Fehlings, University of Toronto, Canada

Prof Donna M. Ferriero, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, USA

Prof Linda Fetters, University of Southern California, USA

Prof Andrew Gordon, Columbia University, USA

Prof Regina Harbourne, University of Nebraska Medical Centre, Nebraska, USA

Dr Nathalie Maitre, The Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, USA

Dr Gary Noritz, Ohio State University, USA