Gillick Pediatric Research Lab

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At the Gillick Pediatric Research Lab, we believe that all children with cerebral palsy have the potential to influence their level of function throughout their lifetime.

Bernadette Gillick and her fellow researchers are focused on making a significant, positive impact on the lives of children with cerebral palsy through advancing neurorehabilitation. Inquiries and discussions are welcome, without obligation of participation. 

Gillick Lab Infant Study featured on KARE 11 News. Click HERE to see the video.

Current studies from the Gillick Lab

Current studies from the Gillick Lab

Research Study in Babies with Stroke or Bleeding in the Brain
Principal Investigator: Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT

Combining Brain Stimulation and Therapy for Hand Function in Children with Hemiparesis
Principal Investigator: Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT

Past Studies

Past Studies

Pediatric Hemiparesis Research Study: Comparing the Location of the Motor Cortex in Children Using Two Methods: EEG and TMS

The hypothesis for this study is that in typically developing children, the conventional landmarks to determine the brain area that controls hand function will not differ from NIBS-guided assessments. In children with hemiparesis, however, those two locations will differ. Watch a video about this study.

Longitudinal Outcomes in Pediatric Hemiparesis Post rTMS/CIMT Intervention

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perception of previous participants on their involvement in an intensive rTMS/CIMT Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) specific to symptom monitoring, the TMS experience, and their current functional status. 

Safety of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Pediatric Hemiparesis
The goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of tDCS use for children with hemiparesis. Investigating this type of non-invasive brain stimulation will support future novel interventions designed to improve hand function in children with hemiparesis; expanding beyond the current limitations of traditional therapies.

Pediatric Hemiparesis: Synergistic Treatment Using rTMS and CIT
The University of Minnesota and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare collaborated on a pediatric research study in hemiparesis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether non-invasive transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) combined with constraint-induced therapy (CIT) resulted in improved hand control and brain activity. Watch a video on the outcomes.

Funding

Funding

Current funding

Perinatal Stroke: Understanding Brain Reorganization through Infant Neuroexcitability and Neuroimaging
Funding: Australian Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Timeline: April 2016-March 2017 (NCE)
Dr. Gillick: Principal Investigator

Novel Neuromodulatory Intervention in the Rehabilitation of Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: NIH K01 Career Development Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Timeline: September 2014- June 2019
Project Goals: Evaluate the safety and efficacy of combined tDCS/CIMT in children with hemiparesis; and examine the influence of combined tDCS/CIMT on brain excitability and reorganization
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator

The Alberta Perinatal Stroke Program: Neuromodulation to Optimize Outcomes
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Timeline: July 2015-June 2022
Dr. Gillick's role: Co-investigator

Effect of Mexiletine on Cortical Hyperexcitability in Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Funding: Northeast Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Consortium
Timeline: September 2015- August 2017
Dr. Gillick's role: Collaborator

MRI-compatible integrated NIRS/EEG system for application to Clinical neuroscience
Funding: NIH 1 S10 OD021721-01
Timline: April 2016-March 2018
Dr. Gillick's role: User

Perinatal Stroke: Understanding Brain Reorganization through Infant Neuroimaging and Measures of Neuro-excitability

Funding: UMN Academic Health Center Seed Grant
Timline: April 2016-March 2017 (NCE)
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator

Previous Funding

Mechanisms of neuromodulatory transcranial magnetic stimulation in humans: changes in neurochemistry and functional connectivity assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy at 7T
Funding: Instrumentarium Science Foundation, Finland
Timeline: January 2016-December 2016
Dr. Gillick's role: Collaborator

Mechanisms of Neuromodulation Interventions: Influence on Human Neurochemistry and Functional Connectivity
Funding: UMN Medical School Innovation Grant
Timeline: April 2015-December 2016
Dr. Gillick's role: Co-I

Novel Neuromodulatory Interventions in Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: Foundation for Physical Therapy Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant
Timeline: January 2015- December 2016

Project Goals: Investigate the benefits of combining non-invasive brain stimulation and rehabilitation training on hand function in children with weakness due to stroke
Dr. Gillick: Principal Investigator

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation (CPIRF) Research Grant
Timeline: January 2014- December 2015

Project Goals: Determine the synergistic effect of combined tDCS/CIMT in children with hemiparesis and examine the influence of combined tDCS/CIMT on brain excitability and reorganization
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, testing investigator

Longitudinal Outcomes in rTMS/CIMT
Funding: Clinical and Translational Science Institute- Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center


Timeline: September 2013- August 2015

Project Goals: Track behavioral and qualitative longitudinal outcomes in children with hemiparesis who previously participated in a randomized controlled trial of intensive rTMS/CIMT
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, collaborative analysis

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: Clinical and Translational Science Institute- KL2 Scholars Grant

Timeline: September 2013- August 2016

Project Goals: Determine the optimal location for tDCS motor cortex stimulation; evaluate the safety and efficacy of combined tDCS/CIMT in children with hemiparesis; and examine the influence of combined tDCS/CIMT on brain excitability and reorganization
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, testing investigator

TMS and EEG Mapping of Motor Cortex

Funding: Clinical and Translational Science Institute- Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center

Timeline: January 2013- June 2014

Project Goals: Determine the EEG C3C4 location relation to the TMS motor hotspot

Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, testing investigator, collaborative analysis

Safety of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: Clinical and Translational Science Institute- Pre-K Pilot Grant

Timeline: March 2012-March 2014

Project Goals: Establish the safety and dosing for use of this form of non-invasive brain stimulation in children with congenital hemiparesis
Dr. GIllick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, testing investigator

Safety of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Pediatric Hemiparesis
Funding: Clinical and Translational Science Institute- Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center
Timeline: March 2012-March 2014
Project Goals: Create and analyze the optimal study for use of non-invasive brain stimulation in children with congenital hemiparesis
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, testing investigator
 
Safety of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Pediatric Hemiparesis
Funding: Minnesota Medical Foundation New Faculty Grant
Timeline: March 2012-March 2014
Project Goals: Establish the equipment for optimal intervention studies in hemiparesis
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator; Director of study, testing investigator

Institutional Funding

Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR)
Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center (BDAC)

Publications

Publications

Summary: In this study, we evaluated the children from our repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)/Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) clinical trial using MRI, a finger tracking task, and TMS testing.  TMS testing allows us a “window into the brain” to learn if the child has preserved corticospinal tract input to the more-affected hand.  We learned that the group of children who had preserved corticospinal tract input (identified with a motor evoked potential on their lesioned hemisphere), had greater volumes in brain structures as compared to the group of children who did not have preserved corticospinal tracts. The difference in volumes was associated with reduced ability to accurately complete a finger tracking task with their less-affected hand. 

Summary: Pilot study incorporating our computerized modeling outcomes to investigate safety and feasibility using a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS). TDCS has not previously been investigated in children with hemiparesis. No serious adverse events occurred, and no decline in cognitive or motor function was found. Minor adverse events are described.

Summary: Study which created a computerized model of a brain in order to establish optimal safety for the dose of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation

Summary: Expansion of description from our original publication, specific to safety. No serious adverse events occured in our rTMS/CIMT study which used a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with constraint--induced therapy. The procedures we used to work with establishing and analyzing safety in our study and minor adverse events which are further described.

In response: A commentary article - Hoare, B. Putting some excitement into constraint-induced movement therapy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2014; 56(1)5-6 doi:10.1111/dmcn.12272

Summary: Comments from an international expert on the novelty and outcomes related to our work.

Summary: Description of the changes in hand function and other measures in our rTMS/CIMT study. This study used a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) combined with constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). We found that this intervention was well-tolerated and that 8 of 10 children in the intervention group showed significant improvements in hand function. No serious adverse events occurred, with the most common minor adverse events being headache and cast irritation which resolved within 24 hours.

Summary: Discussion of neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to change).

  • Gillick BT, Koppes A. “Gross motor outcomes in children with hemiparesis involved in a modified constraint induced therapy program”. J Ped Rehab Med. 2010: 171-175. PMID: 21791848

Summary: Children involved in a constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) program showed improvements also in gross motor function.

Awards

Awards

2015
NIH Fellowship: Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials

2014
AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar - University of Minnesota Medical School Representative
Developmental Medicine Child Neurology Journal - Editor's Choice Manuscript

2013
American Physical Therapy Association Section on Pediatrics - Best Dissertation Award
Keynote 2013 Graduation Speaker - Doctor of Physical Therapy

2012
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - Top 25 Article Summer 2012
University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute - Best Poster Award

2011
Alberta Children's Research Institute for Child/Maternal Health - Travel Award Recipient

2009-10
American Academy of Cerebral Palsy/Development Medicine - Student Award
Foundation for Physical Therapy - Promotion of Doctoral Students II Scholarship

2006-07
Seattle University Faculty Service/Community Engagement - Spirit of Community Award Nominee

2006
Who's Who Among American Teachers

1998
Rosalind Franklin/Chicago Medical School - Suma Cum Laude Graduate

1993
Marquette University - Outstanding Alumni Scholarship Award

1992
Marquette University - Outstanding Alumni Award

Resources

Resources

Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program provides children with cerebrovascular disease and their families with state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and support while providing the opportunity to participate in leading clinical research initiatives. 

Cerebral Palsy Research Registry is a multi-institutional collaborative effort whose primary mission is to improve our understanding of cerebral palsy.

Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association exists to help children who have survived an early brain injury that results in hemiplegia or hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body.

ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. ClinicalTrials.gov is a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke offers the needed resources, support, inspiration, knowledge and information that will empower you to better understand pediatric stroke.

Research Match is a free and secure registry developed by major academic institutions across the country who want to involve you in helping today's research studies make a real difference for everyone's health in the future.

Newsletters

Newsletters

Want to read more about the Gillick Pediatric Research Lab? Click the links for archived newsletters.

Contact us

Gillick Lab patient

Phone: 612-626-6415
Fax: 612-625-4274
Email: brown029@umn.edu

Send mail to:

Gillick Pediatric Research
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 388
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Associated facilities

Gillick Lab (map)
Room 320
426 Church St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0222

Center for Neurobehavioral Development (map)
717 Delaware Street SE, Ste. 333
Minneapolis, MN 55414
612-624-5600

Clinical & Translational Science Institute (map)
Masonic Memorial Building
424 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612-625-2874

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (map)
2021 Sixth Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612-626-2001