The study will take place at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. This study is a summer camp that uses constraint induced movement or CIMT for short. It includes therapy directed at improving the strength, use and control of your child’s affected hand. There will be 16 kids taking part in the study at Holland Bloorview over the course of two years (2018 and 2019). Eight individuals will take part in the summer of 2018 and another 8 will take part in the summer of 2019. Participants will also have a 50/50 chance of receiving tDCS or a pretend sham version during the CIMT camp. tDCS works by wearing a headband with wires attached to a machine. The headband gives a small amount of electricity (or stimulation) on the head. The tDCS brain stimulation is safe and does not hurt.
Before the camp, participants will come to Holland Bloorview to complete a few tests and activities with a research occupational therapist (OT), who will assess your child’s arm and hand movement and function. This will take about 3-4 hours to complete. Your child will also be given an activity motion watch to wear and will be required to wear the watch for the full 2 weeks of the camp. This watch will monitor all of the activities your child does with their arms and hands. Participants will also need to answer some questions about their motor function goals, how they are feeling and what kind of activities they do at home and school. This will take about 30 minutes to complete. Additionally, your child will have pictures of their brain taken at the Hospital for Sick Children that will take about 1 hour to complete.
During the camp, your child will come to Holland Bloorview each weekday for the summer camp. The camp activities will run from 9am - 4pm each day. The camp will be led by a team of research OTs. During week 1 of the camp, your child will wear a removable soft cast on their dominant arm, for most of the day and will receive one-on-one CIMT motor learning therapy. During week 2 of the camp, your child will receive one-on-one bimanual therapy. The real or sham tDCS will be applied every day of the camp for 30 minutes.
At the end of the camp, your child will answer a short questionnaire on their overall experience of the camp. This will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Also, your child will return to Holland Bloorview 3 more times to repeat the tests and activities with the research OT that were done before the camp. Furthermore, participants will wear the motion watches for 48 hours in the week following CIMT camp, 2 months after CIMT camp, and 6-months after CIMT camp. Participants will also visit the Hospital for Sick Children 1 week after the camp and 6 months after the camp, to repeat the brain imaging (about 1 hour long), to see if there have been any changes overtime with their brain.