Children with cerebral palsy often develop muscle contractures (stiffening of muscles) that produce deformities and cause physical disability. The mechanisms that cause muscle contracture are poorly understood. It is not known with any certainty whether muscle contractures are primarily due to changes in the muscle cells or tendons. Recently we and others have developed MRI-based methods that utilise diffusion tensor imaging to generate exquisite three-dimensional images of living human muscles. We will use these methods to resolve a longstanding controversy about whether contractures in children with cerebral palsy are due primarily to changes in muscle or tendon.
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Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering