Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital launches new clinical trial in robotic therapy

April 26, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
TORONTO – CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are thrilled to announce an innovative clinical research study in robotics therapy for children with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood physical disability in Canada, affecting approximately one in every 300 Canadian children.

"There is a lot of excitement about the innovative use of robotics in treatments and therapies for children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. We are tremendously grateful to our partners for supporting this exciting development in research at Holland Bloorview. This research holds great promise for revolutionary new therapies for children with cerebral palsy," said Dr. Virginia Wright, Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute.

The exciting two-and-a-half year clinical research study, funded by CIBC with a $500,000 donation and co-led by Dr. Darcy Fehlings and Dr. Virginia Wright., is the first known randomized trial to evaluate the impact of robotic assisted gait training for children with cerebral palsy. This study, will allow Holland Bloorview to develop evidence–informed best practices and guidelines for clinical use of robotic therapy, specifically with the Pediatric Lokomat® Pro, for children with different severities of cerebral palsy.

"At CIBC we care about what matters – especially kids, cures, and community. If this research finds news therapies for kids with disabilities then our Miracle Day aspiration – of helping kids who need it the most - will be realized," said Geoff Belsher, Managing Director and Group Co-Head, Wholesale Banking, CIBC.

CIBC's donation is funding clinical research using a state-of-the-art robotic device known as the Pediatric Lokomat® Pro. This specialized equipment was generously donated to Holland Bloorview by the THREE TO BE foundation and its supporters. The innovative gait training device supports a child to walk upright while using robotics to move the child's legs in a way that simulates a natural walking pattern. A virtual reality screen is built-in to the device so that kids can choose a character to move in sync with them. The more the child actively engages in walking, the greater the motor learning effect is thought to be. The lokomat's biofeedback and virtual reality systems give a motivational and fun environment with direct, real-time feedback to the child, parent and therapist on performance.

Robotic therapy has the potential to transform treatment for children with cerebral palsy by making walking therapy more stimulating and engaging, more effective, and more inclusive for children with different walking abilities and goals.

With the incredible support of CIBC, THREE TO BE and KRG Children's Charitable Foundation, Holland Bloorview will be conducting a leading edge clinical research trial with the lokomat. This is a unique $1 million partnership between three foundations and a bank working together to help create a world without limits for children with disabilities.

About CIBC
CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2011, CIBC contributed over $35 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation raises funds in the community for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Holland Bloorview is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital. The hospital pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. For more information, please visit: www.hollandbloorviewfoundation.ca

For more information, please contact:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
Nicole Watson, Associate Director, Communications and Marketing
T: 416-424-3850, E: nwatson@hollandbloorview.ca

Sean Hamilton, Director External Communications and Media
T: 416-304-8456, E: sean.hamilton@cibc.com