American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) The AACPDM releases revised “Cerebral Palsy and Dystonia” Care Pathway

For Immediate Release:

The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental announces the release of the “Cerebral Palsy and Dystonia” Care Pathway

Milwaukee, WI., May 2, 2024 – The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) is pleased to announce the recently revised “Cerebral Palsy and Dystonia” Care Pathway – Clinical Practice Guideline now available for public access on the AACPDM website.

This Care Pathway focuses on pharmacological and neurosurgical interventions intended for individuals of all ages with cerebral palsy (CP) and dystonia who experience stiff dystonic postures, hypertonia, and slow involuntary movements that cause interference.

Lead author, Darcy Fehlings, MD, MSc, FRCPC, states, “An international team of experts in dystonia management came together to evaluate all the evidence and make practical recommendations on management options. A highlight of the effort was working in partnership with a group of individuals with lived experience with dystonia and CP to ensure recommendations considered this important stakeholder perspective.” Dr. Fehlings is a Developmental Paediatrician from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, ON, Canada.

“Dystonia is very common in the patients we serve, and the identification and treatment is critical. This Care Pathway will be beneficial to medical providers and serves as an informed guideline to help their recommendations and patient care,” stated M. Wade Shrader, MD, AACPDM President 2023-24, and Chief, Division of Cerebral Palsy, Nemours Children’s Health – Delaware, A.I. duPont Campus. 

A complete list of co-authors can be found here. The clinical practice guideline is published in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (DMCN) under the title, “Pharmacological and neurosurgical management of cerebral palsy and dystonia: Clinical practice guideline update” and is available through open access here


Care Pathways are clinical recommendations for the health care of individuals with childhood-onset disabilities. Practice recommendations provided by Care Pathways are based on the best available evidence from high-quality systematic reviews. Recommendations are graded for their probable accuracy (i.e., quality) and the confidence with which they can be used (i.e., strength) for the purpose of making clinical decisions. The systematic processes used in the decisions and judgments involved with the development of the clinical recommendations made by Care Pathways are transparent and explicitly described.


The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) is a group of more than 1,100 healthcare professionals committed to improving the health and quality of life for individuals with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities. What sets AACPDM apart is the collaborative approach of its members, who work together to create a global network that delivers the best possible outcomes for patients. Among our members are pediatricians, neurologists, surgeons, physiatrists, therapists, nurses, special educators, engineers, and scientists.

The mission of the AACPDM is:

Empowering and supporting a collaborative multidisciplinary community that

  • provides accessible and robust scientific education for health professionals and researchers
  • fosters innovative research as well as its dissemination and implementation
  • advocates for equitable access to evidence-based and patient-centered care

Learn more about our Academy by visiting

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