Division of Neurology


Members of the Division of Neurology are actively involved in research that focuses on a wide variety of neurologic injuries and neurodevelopmental problems, with the goal of improving treatment options and outcomes for children affected by neurological disorders.

The research interests of our team members span a broad range of pediatric neurological disorders, including pediatric stroke, epilepsy, neuromuscular disorders, sleep disorders, developmental delay, neurogenetic disorders such as Friedreich’s Ataxia, multiple sclerosis and neonatal neurology.

For more information about ongoing clinical research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Effects of rehabilitation on walking ability and brain pathways after pediatric stroke

Led by principal investigator Laura Prosser, PT, PhD, research scientist in the Center for Rehabilitation at CHOP, specialists from the Division of Neurology and the Pediatric Stroke Program are studying the effects of different types of physical therapy in children and adolescents who have had a stroke and suffer from hemiplegia, or difficulty moving one side of the body.

Hemiplegia causes difficulties with walking and balance. It is typically treated with the goal of improving walking function and symmetry. Traditional physical therapy includes walking practice, muscle strengthening and balance training. New split-belt treadmill technology is now available to train each leg differently during therapy. This pilot study aims to learn if there are any advantages of this asymmetrical training over traditional physical therapy, and if either type of physical therapy strengthens the signals from the injured part of the brain to the muscles.

Dr. Prosser’s research team, which includes neurologists Rebecca N. Ichord, MD, Director of the Pediatric Stroke Program, and Sudha Kilaru Kessler, MD, Director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Lab, is focused on optimizing neurorehabilitation treatments and learning how rehabilitation can induce helpful brain changes in children with stroke and other neurologic injury.

For more information about study details and criteria, please contact Laura Prosser, principal investigator, at 215-590-2495 or prosserl@email.chop.edu. Additional information can be found using the Clinical Research Finder.

Neurodevelopmental problems in children with complex congenital heart defects

Led by J. William Gaynor, MD and Robert R. Clancy, MD, the Neurocardiac Research Group brings together researchers from cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac anesthesia, intensive care, cardiac nursing, neurology, genetics, biostatistics and developmental pediatrics, to examine why children with complex congenital heart defects experience neurodevelopmental problems, what are the best therapies for current survivors of heart surgery, and what can be done for prevention in the future. Read more about this study»

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Protecting the Brain Before Birth

The Fetal Neuroprotection and Neuroplasticity Program is investigating the link between certain congenital anomalies and brain development in utero, with the goal of developing new treatment options that can be administered before birth to improve long-term outcomes.