Randomised trial of EArly Rehabilitation in Congenital Hemiplegia (REACH) Study


Chief Investigators

Professor Roslyn Boyd, Professor Jenny Ziviani, Dr Leanne Sakzewski, Professor Iona Novak, Professor Nadia Badawi, Dr Kerstin Pannek, A/Professor Catherine Elliott, Dr Susan Greaves, Dr Andrea Guzzetta, Dr Koa Whittingham.

U.S. Site Investigators

Dr Bernadette Gillick (University of Minnesota), Natalie Maître (Nationwide Children's Hospital, Ohio), Dr Jill Heathcock (The Ohio State University).

Associate Investigators

A/Professor Jane Valentine, Professor Paul Colditz, Dr Robert Ware, Professor Stephen Rose, Mrs Cath Morgan, Mrs Lisa Findlay. 


NHMRC1078877 $939,038.75 awarded over 5 years.

About the study

The REACH project studies infants with asymmetric brain lesions who are at high risk of developing congenital hemiplegia. To date, no study has examined early upper limb rehabilitation in infants, potentially failing to capitalise on a critical period during neural development. This study aims to determine the efficacy of modified Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) compared to an equal dose of traditional bimanual training (BIM) in young infants with asymmetric brain lesions with respect to (i) the influence on early reaching and grasping development, and (ii) brain re-organisation. 150 infants with asymmetric lesions will be recruited to the study before 3–6 months chronological age (c.a.). Both therapies will be parent-delivered with support from experienced clinicians.

The REACH project will be conducted in 4 sites across Australia (QLD, WA, VIC, NSW).

Please see the Study Flyer for further information.

Recruitment criteria

Infants 6 months (corrected age) or younger with:

  • Asymmetric brain lesion identified on MRI or cranial ultrasound, and/or
  • Absent Fidgety Movements on General Movements assessment at 12 weeks corrected age, and/or
  • Reduced upper limb function with asymmetric reach and grasp

We are seeking 150 babies across QLD, WA, VIC and NSW.  




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