Cerebral Palsy: Resources For Researchers and Health Care Providers

NICHD Resources

Resources within the Division of Extramural Research (DER) include:

  • Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch (DBSVB)
    The DBSVB supports basic and clinical research on normal and abnormal development that relates to the causes and prevention of structural birth defects, as well as research training in relevant academic and medical areas.
    • Birth Defects Initiative and Birth Defects Working Group
      The DBSVB-supported working group aims to develop new, innovative, and valuable strategies for the molecular diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human structural birth defects. Other funding for Birth Defects Initiative research is provided by other NIH Institutes and Centers, including the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and the Office of Dietary Supplements. The Initiative supports basic scientists and clinicians whose research projects span basic, translational, and clinical approaches to understanding the developmental biology and genetics of structural birth defects.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch (IDDB)
    The IDDB sponsors research and research training aimed at preventing and ameliorating intellectual and related developmental disabilities.
  • Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB)
    The PPB seeks to improve the health of mothers and children by supporting research in maternal health, pregnancy, fetal well-being, labor and delivery, neonatal and infant health and well-being, and the long-term health outcomes associated with pregnancy and with fetal and infant development.
    • Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network
      The PPB-funded MFMU Network focuses on clinical questions in maternal fetal medicine and obstetrics, particularly with respect to the continuing problem of preterm birth. For the 2011–2016 cycle, the MFMU Network includes 14 clinical centers at U.S. universities and hospitals, and a data coordinating center. MFMU Network studies include randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, and registries. The MFMU Network has conducted clinical studies related to the following critical areas of research: maternal health; fetal health and development; gestational diabetes, asthma, and thyroid disorders; and preterm labor.
  • National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR)
    Through basic, translational, and clinical research, the NCMRR aims to foster development of scientific knowledge needed to enhance the health, productivity, independence, and quality of life of people with physical disabilities.
    • Spinal Cord and Musculoskeletal Disorders and Assistive Devices (SMAD) Program
      The SMAD Program focuses on developing and supporting the application of devices to improve the human-environment interface and to restore or enhance an individual's capacity to function in his or her environment. This type of applied research and rehabilitation technology includes, but is not limited to, prosthetics, wheelchairs, biomechanical modeling, and other topics that aim to enhance mobility, communication, cognition, and environmental control.
    • Medical Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure Network (MRRIN)
      The MRRIN, funded through the NCMRR with additional support from NINDS and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, builds research infrastructure in medical rehabilitation by providing investigators at seven sites with access to expertise, courses and workshops, technologies, and other collaborative opportunities from allied disciplines such as neuroscience, engineering, applied behavior, and the social sciences. Medical rehabilitation, a key component of the NICHD mission, involves basic and clinical studies in the domains of pathophysiology, impairment, function, disability, and societal interaction. Access to technologies and approaches from allied fields is critical to promoting multidisciplinary collaborations and developing research opportunities needed to advance the field.

Resources within the Division of Intramural Research include:

  • Program in Perinatal Research and Obstetrics (PPRO)
    The PPRO conducts clinical and laboratory research on maternal and fetal diseases responsible for excessive infant mortality in the United States. The PPRO focuses on the mechanisms of disease responsible for premature labor and delivery, with particular emphasis on the role of subclinical intrauterine infection and inflammation. The prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies is also a major area of interest.
  • Section on Tissue Biophysics and Biomimetics (STBB)
    The STBB carries out research that aims to understand fundamental physical mechanisms governing tissue-level physiological processes that are essential for life, or necessary to achieve a high quality of life. Another aim is to transfer new methodologies to the biomedical research and health care communities. An example includes the invention and successful dissemination of diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging from the bench to the bedside.

Other NICHD-supported resources include:

  • NICHD Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders External Web Site Policy
    This resource, located at the University of Maryland Medical School, is a tissue bank designed to advance the research of developmental disorders. The objective of this human tissue repository is to systematically collect, store, and distribute brain and other tissues for research dedicated to the improved understanding, care, and treatment of individuals with developmental disorders.
  • Neuroscience Research Support at the NICHD
    The NICHD is committed to supporting research in the neurosciences, particularly as they affect developing systems and rehabilitation. The NICHD supports the full spectrum of basic, clinical, and translational research in the biomedical and behavioral neuroscience arenas. In addition to NICHD-sponsored initiatives and investigator-initiated projects, the NICHD also supports neuroscience research through the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.

Other Resources

Please note: Links to organizations and information included on this page do not indicate endorsement from the NICHD, the NIH, or HHS.

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