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Behavioral Intervention

Reflex Conditioning for Cerebral Palsy (SRC-CP Trial)

Led By Kathleen Friel, PhD
Research Sponsored by Burke Medical Research Institute
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
Age 18 and above
Diagnosis of spastic Cerebral Palsy
Must not have
History of cardiac conditions
H/O ankle surgeries in affected leg (Dorsal root rhizotomy etc.)
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up within one week before the first intervention session to within one week after the end of intervention
Awards & highlights


This trial will test a possible treatment for spastic cerebral palsy that involves electric shocks to the soleus muscle.

Who is the study for?
Adults over 18 with spastic Cerebral Palsy, able to walk at least 10 meters with or without help. They should be classified as level I-III in motor function and not planning any medication changes for three months. Participants must not be pregnant, have uncontrolled diabetes, skin disorders, heart conditions, latex allergies, recent Botox treatments or surgeries on the affected leg.Check my eligibility
What is being tested?
The trial is testing a technique called spinal reflex conditioning on adults with Cerebral Palsy to reduce the H-Reflex magnitude in their muscles. It involves baseline assessments followed by sessions thrice weekly where participants work to decrease this reflex through specific trials.See study design
What are the potential side effects?
Since this intervention involves physical therapy techniques rather than drugs, side effects may include muscle soreness or fatigue from repeated exercises. There's also a small risk of skin irritation from electrodes used during sessions.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

You may be eligible if you check “Yes” for the criteria below
I am 18 years old or older.
I have been diagnosed with spastic Cerebral Palsy.
I can walk or move with some assistance.
I can walk 10 meters by myself or with help like a cane.

Exclusion Criteria

You may be eligible for the trial if you check “No” for criteria below:
I have a history of heart conditions.
I have had surgery on my ankle.
I have weak muscle movement in my ankle and foot.
I have not had a seizure since I was 2 years old.
I am currently taking medication for seizures.
I have damaged skin, such as wounds, broken skin, or recent scars.
I regularly use electrical stimulation on my leg muscles.
My diabetes is not under control.
I do not have cognitive issues that would prevent me from following the study's procedures.


Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~within one week before the first intervention session to within one week after the end of intervention
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and within one week before the first intervention session to within one week after the end of intervention for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
Soleus H-Reflex size
Secondary outcome measures
10 meter walk test
6 minute walk test
Berg Balance Scale
+24 more

Trial Design

1Treatment groups
Experimental Treatment
Group I: Spinal reflex conditioningExperimental Treatment1 Intervention
The OC intervention includes 6 baseline sessions and 24 conditioning/ no conditioning sessions held 3 times/week. To elicit an H-reflex, participants will be asked to stand in a comfortable position. Small pulses of energy will be applied to a nerve in the leg called the tibial nerve. We will record when the participant maintains leg muscle activity. During the intervention, participants will be trained to decrease their reflex in their calf.

Research Highlights

Information in this section is not a recommendation. We encourage patients to speak with their healthcare team when evaluating any treatment decision.
Mechanism Of Action
Side Effect Profile
Prior Approvals
Other Research
The most common treatments for Cerebral Palsy (CP) include physical and occupational therapy, oral antispasticity medications, botulinum toxin injections, and surgical interventions like selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). Physical and occupational therapy aim to improve motor function and reduce spasticity through targeted exercises and positioning. Oral medications such as baclofen and benzodiazepines work by reducing muscle tone and spasms through central nervous system depression. Botulinum toxin injections temporarily paralyze overactive muscles by blocking acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. SDR involves cutting selective nerve roots to reduce spasticity. Neuromodulation techniques, like the Down Conditioning trial, aim to decrease the H reflex magnitude, thereby reducing spasticity by altering spinal reflex pathways. These treatments are crucial for CP patients as they help improve mobility, reduce pain, and enhance overall quality of life.
The Most Cited Original Articles in Brain Imaging of Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Bibliometric Analysis Between 1984 and 2019.

Find a Location

Who is running the clinical trial?

Burke Medical Research InstituteLead Sponsor
23 Previous Clinical Trials
1,453 Total Patients Enrolled
4 Trials studying Cerebral Palsy
246 Patients Enrolled for Cerebral Palsy
Kathleen Friel, PhDPrincipal InvestigatorBurke Neurological Institute
4 Previous Clinical Trials
140 Total Patients Enrolled
~5 spots leftby Dec 2025