Back to Top
AACPDM Facebook AACPDM Twitter


Last Updated:
November 28, 2017

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Dr. Lisa Thornton is a longtime AACPDM member, and currently serves on AACPDM's Board of Directors.  In this video, she gives a brief overview of cerebral palsy.


2017 Annual Meeting Highlights

Thursday, September 13, 2017 - Opening General Session

Unni Narayanan, MBBS, MSc, FRCS(C), the current president of AACPDM, highlighted the achievements of the Academy in the last year including the continued development of AACPDM Care Pathways; the generous support of research grants; the completion of Common Data Elements in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and other national research organizations; the creation of the Community Council, which provides the family and consumer perspective to our Academy and will focus on research, education, and awareness; and the establishment of the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability (IAACD) to further research and collaboration for the improvement of lives of children with childhood disability throughout the world.

Dr. Narayanan introduced and passed the presidency to Sarah Winter, MD. Dr. Winter is a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah. She introduced the theme of the 2017 AACPDM Conference of “Dare Greatly: Enter the Arena” through examples from current and historical thinkers, concluding that the achievement of true success requires an openness to vulnerability and failure.

Richard Ellenson, the CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF), shared the work of the Foundation over the past year. He featured a touching spot with Wynton Marsalis and his son Tom, as part of the “Just Say Hi” campaign that encourages people of all abilities to recognize each other’s humanity. He highlighted the CPF initiatives including early detection of CP, women’s health, pain management, and accessible gaming for people with disabilities. He introduced the “CP Channel,” an app that incorporates information, videos, and expert lectures developed by the CPF.

Sue Swenson gave the Presidential Guest Lectureship entitled “Human Rights and Children with Disabilities.” Ms. Swenson is an advocate for people with disabilities, president-elect of Inclusion International, and a former acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Her presentation took us through sobering examples of the ways in which rights considered “inalienable” are alienated, with individuals with disabilities often being the first to be targeted. She encouraged the inclusion of people with disabilities in developing models of care that affect them. In her inspiring call to action, she stressed that we should strive for a social model of care that values the importance of all members of society regardless of their abilities.

Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the field of developmental disabilities for the benefit of patients with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities. She was the first African-American female graduate of the Emory School of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized leader in Developmental Pediatrics and Epidemiology, and was the Chief of the Developmental Disabilities Branch at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention from 1999 to 2005.

Thursday, September 13, 2017 - Afternoon General Session
Gayle G. Arnold Lecture: The History of the Treatment of Neuromuscular Spine Deformities - John Lonstein, MD
Cathleen Lyle Murray Award and Lecture: First Impressions and Sports Media - Jason Benetti
EACD Update - Nana Nino Tatishvili, MD
AusACPDM Update - James Rice, MD

Friday, September 14, 2017 - Morning General Session
Mac Keith Press Basic Science Lecture - Michael Meaney, CM, CQ, FRSC, PhD
Presidential Guest Lecturer: Protecting the Newborn Brain - Can Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents Improve Neurodevelopmental Outcome? - Robin Ohls, MD

Friday, September 14, 2017 - Afternoon General Session
Corbett Ryan Pathways Pioneer Award - Kathleen Friel, PhD
Presidential Guest Lecture: Epidemiology Panel - Catherine Arnaud, MD, PhD; Maryam Oskoui, MD, MSc; Hayley Smithers-Sheedy, PhD; Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD 
Duncan Wyeth Award: Video Acceptance - Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli
Gayle G. Arnold Best Free Paper Award: A randomised controlled trial of an early preventative care program for infants born very preterm: the role of social risk on cognitive outcomes throughout early childhood - Alicia Spittle, PhD
Mentorship Award - Michael Sussman, MD

Saturday, September 15, 2017 - Closing General Session

Michael Shevell, MD, CM, FRCP, FAAN, FANA of Montreal Children’s Hospital gave the Presidential Guest Lecture: If Medicine is a Team Sport, What is the Pediatric Neurologist’s Role? Dr. Shevell spoke about the neurologist’s role in treating individuals with cerebral palsy, specifically with regards to diagnosing cerebral palsy and introducing beneficial agents during the perinatal period to reduce the clinical impacts. Dr. Shevell also discussed how medication selection for various conditions, such as seizures, may improve an individual’s functional outcome.

Derrick Chung, James Ferdinand, and Frank Gavin gave the Chambers Family Lifespan Lecture. These three parents shared their perspectives as fathers caring for children with cerebral palsy. They related their desire for providers to listen more actively, and the importance of involving fathers – not just mothers – in medical conversations.

Alex M. Pagnozzi and colleagues received the Best Scientific Poster Award for their work: “Measuring Neuroplasticity in Cerebral Palsy: What Cohort Sizes Are Needed for MR Imaging?”

Marilyn Wright and colleagues received the Best Demonstration Poster Award for their work on “Scootering for Children and Youth is More Than Fun: An Appealing Approach to Improve Function and Fitness.”

Rachel Thompson, MD was honored with the Mac Keith Press Most Promising Career Award for her work on “Hip Status and Long-Term Functional Outcomes in Myelomeningocele.”

TED Talks

Gubela Mji: How can we make disability research accessible in Africa?

Cole Galloway: A Movement for Mobility

Stella Young: I'm not your inspiration, thank you very much

Sue Austin: Deep sea diving... in a wheelchair

Lisa Thornton, MD: What I've Learned as a Childhood Disability Doctor

2016 Annual Meeting highlights

Thursday, September 22, 2016 - Opening General Session
John Ioannidis, MD, DSc - Improving Research Practice
Euan Wallace, AM - Prevention and Cure of Cerebral Palsy: A Reality or Forlorn Hope?
Lay Summary Now Available!

Thursday, September 22, 2016 - Afternoon General Session
Richard Ellenson, CEO - Cerebral Palsy Foundation Update
Donna Thomson - After 27 Years of Treatment: A Report Card on Developmental Medicine From a Consumer
Michele Shusterman - From Chaos to Cohesion: Making Sense of CP for Caregivers
Justin Herbst - Corbett Ryan Pathways Pioneer Award
Prevention and Cure of Cerebral Palsy: A Reality or Forlorn Hope?
Lay Summary Now Available!

Friday, September 23, 2016 - Morning General Session
Stephen Scherer, PhD, FRSC - Genome Analysis in Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disorders
Maryam Oskoui, MD - Perspectives from the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Registry
Prevention and Cure of Cerebral Palsy: A Reality or Forlorn Hope?
Lay Summary Now Available!

Friday, September 23, 2016 - Afternoon General Session
Scott Wright, MD - How the Rough Beginning has Influenced the Ways that I Lead
Benjamin Joseph, MD - Agony and Ecstasy - a Personal 30 Year Journey of Management of Cerebral Palsy with Limited Resources in India
James Gage, MD - Lifetime Achievement Award
Michael Msall, MD - Mentorship Award
Annemieke Buizer, MD, PhD - EACD Update
James Rice, MD - AusACPDM Update
Prevention and Cure of Cerebral Palsy: A Reality or Forlorn Hope?
Lay Summary Now Available!

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - Closing General Session
Tom Chau, PhD, PEng - “Listen To Me, I Have Something to Say” – Enabling the Right to Communication Through Body and Brain-Machine Interfacing
Best Scientific and Demonstration Posters
Mac Keith Press Promising Career Award
Ronnie Dickson - Duncan Wyeth Award
Vedant Kulkarni, MD - Fred P. Sage Award
Prevention and Cure of Cerebral Palsy: A Reality or Forlorn Hope?
Lay Summary Now Available!

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - Community Forum
This playlist contains 11 videos, each of which highlights a different Community Forum speaker

NIH Workshop on Basic and Translational Research in Cerebral Palsy

In November 2014, NINDS and NICHD co-hosted a workshop on the state of the clinical science and treatment options available for individuals with cerebral palsy.  The 2014 workshop set the stage for a second complementary workshop focused on the state of cerebral palsy basic and translational research.  During the 2016 workshop, the role of non-human animal research in understanding the biology of cerebral palsy and the development of new cerebral palsy therapies will be considered.  The state of neuroprotective therapies for cerebral palsy will be discussed, as will the contribution of neuroimaging and biomarker development in furthering cerebral palsy research and drug development.  Finally, the role of interventions based on neuroplasticity will be reviewed.  Understanding the state of the science in these areas will help identify limitations in knowledge of cerebral palsy and pave the way for future discoveries needed to improve the lives of patients with cerebral palsy.  



Job Postings Submit a Position