GAME: Harnessing Neuroplasticity to Improve Motor Performance in Infants with Cerebral Palsy: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial

6 January 2022

The GAME study is comparing the effects of an infant-friendly intensive, specific enriched training to traditional passive early intervention. Child development is assessed at the beginning of the study and again at 1-and 2 years-of-age to assess the difference between the two groups. GAME involves weekly intervention focusing on active motor training, parent education and environmental enrichment. Therapists visit families in their home weekly to coach parents in how to provide motor training and cognitive stimulation within their child’s natural playtime.

In 2021 the study has successfully reached its recruitment milestone of 300 families across Australia (with Queensland team recruiting 62 families) making it the largest early intervention trial in CP internationally. With the ongoing COVID pandemic, the clinical team has been able to adapt to online technologies and have been able to conduct assessments and interventions either by telehealth or directly in the home. The study is expected to complete follow-up in Qld in March 2023.

Chief Investigators: Prof. Iona Novak, Dr Cathy Morgan, Prof. Nadia Badawi, Prof. Roslyn Boyd, A/Prof. Alicia Spittle, Prof. Russell Dale, Ms Adrienne Kirby, A/Prof. Rod Hunt, Dr Kerstin Pannek, Dr Koa Whittingham.

Associate Investigators: A/Prof. Andrea Guzzetta, Claire Galea, Dr Karen Walker, Kristina Prelog, Prof. Michael Fahey, Shannon Clough, Prof. Stephen Rose.

Study Personnel QLD: Sarah Gibson, Christine Finn, Kym Morris, Ellena Oakes, Dr Andrea Burgess.

Competitive Funding: NHMRC project grant 1120031 (2017-2021) $2,736,349