Leeds researchers granted over £60,000 to study the influence of light and sound on children with movement difficulties | Action Medical Research

Leeds researchers granted over £60,000 to study the influence of light and sound on children with movement difficulties

22 February 2011

Researchers in Leeds have just been awarded a grant of over £60,000 by Action Medical Research – the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children.

The charity has been supporting significant medical breakthroughs for nearly 60 years, and today announced its latest round of funding to top research institutes at universities and hospitals investigating conditions affecting babies and children.

In this latest round of funding, the charity has given £64,263 to the Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, University of Leeds for a project studying the influence of light and sound on children with movement difficulties, including children with cerebral palsy and developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

Almost 2,000 babies develop cerebral palsy each year in the UK often as a result of a difficult or premature birth.  The condition can influence posture, gait, and upper limb movement and for children with cerebral palsy this may cause difficulties in terms of many everyday tasks and general independence at home and at school. 

Although DCD is very different in terms of what causes the condition, the resulting impact on movement and independence can be similar to that of cerebral palsy.  Not only do children with DCD have difficulties with many movement tasks and activities of daily living, their problems also impact their confidence, social skills, behaviour, and academic achievement.

Children with movement difficulties often struggle to perform simple tasks such as  reaching and grasping.  Although we know how these children move in relation to what they see, very little is known about how they use visual information when it is presented at the same time and same place as sound information. 

This research will not only tell us more about the movement characteristics of these children, but will also be used as a platform for considering how sound and light can be used more effectively during rehabilitation.

Action Medical Research funds a total of approximately £3 million worth of research grants every year, with grant rounds in the spring and autumn.   As well as supporting project grants, the charity also awards Research Training Fellowships.

None of our work would be possible without the generosity of people who make donations, raise funds and take part in events, as well as our trust and corporate partners. Action Medical Research receives no income from the government or any other statutory source.

Alexandra Dedman, Senior Research Evaluation Manager,said: “At Action Medical Research we are determined to stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. The charity finds and funds some of the best medical research in the world for the benefit of babies, children and young people.

“Our gold standard scientific review process ensures that we only fund the best doctors and researchers in children’s hospitals, specialist units and universities across the UK and we are delighted to announce our latest grant awards.”

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information please contact:

Claudine Powell, Communications Manager

T: 01403 327478

E: cpowell@action.org.uk

W:action.org.uk

Action Medical Research is the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. For nearly 60 years we have been instrumental in significant medical breakthroughs, including the development of the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy.

Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We want to make a difference in:

  • tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
  • helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
  • targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.
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