2nd conference on cerebral palsy

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Professionals from the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC speak at 2nd conference on cerebral palsy, June 8, 2005

The conference on cerebral palsy "Family & Professional Partnerships: Making a Difference Together" will be held on June 8, 2005, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Montreal Centre. The conference will be attended by health care professionals from Quebec as well as parents or caregivers of children with cerebral palsy. Two professionals from the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre will give two of the presentations.

Dr. Louise Koclas, MD, Paediatrician, will introduce the Quebec CP Registry. This registry is a critical tool to estimate the prevalence of cerebral palsy in Quebec. This will assist in planning provision of services and health resource needs to children and their families and to help improve their quality of life. Dr. Koclas works closely with Dr. Michael Shevel, pediatric neurologist, in establishing and maintaining the registry.

Dr. Annette Majnemer, PhD, OT, will talk on determinants of life quality in children of school age with cerebral palsy. Quality of life can be variable and not always linked to the severity of the disease. The burden of care and importance of supporting families will be discussed.

Debbie Feldman, Physiotherapist, will also be available to talk on issues related to the care of these children and providing the appropriate resources.

Guest speaker Dr. Robert J Palisano, PT, ScD, Professor in Rehabilitation Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, will give the keynote address, "Models of Best Practice: Integrating Evidence and Family Centered Care."

Cerebral palsy is a neurodevelopmental disability that afflicts 0.2% of all children born. Children with cerebral palsy have an impairment of motor skills that becomes apparent at an early age which is often associated with stiffness of the limbs and abnormal movements. The degree and distribution of this impairment varies amongst children with cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy may have associated difficulties in mobility, dexterity, speech, feeding or cognition. Some children with cerebral palsy may also have epilepsy (seizures). The causes of cerebral palsy are numerous, affecting the developing brain before, during or in the first years after birth. Some causes are preventable. There is no cure for cerebral palsy. Management involves a number of disciplines and is individualized, and can require rehabilitation services (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language therapy, psychology, special education), medications and surgery. Management aims to optimize the function and quality of life of affected children and their families.

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The Montreal Children's Hospital, MUHC
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514-412-4307