Aim: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a poorly understood disorder with no cure. We determined the landscape of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for CP-related research.
Method: We searched NIH databases Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results, and Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization for keywords 'cerebral palsy' among all NIH-funded studies, 2001 to 2013. We classified grants by type and area of study.
Results: NIH funding, averaging $30 million per year, supported clinical ($215 million), basic ($187 million), and translational ($26.3 million) CP-related research. Clinical intervention studies comprised 19% of funding, and focused on treatments ($60.3 million), early parent intervention ($2.7 million), and CP prevention ($2.5 million). Among grants that specified gestational age, more funds were devoted to preterm ($166 million) than term infants ($15 million). CP in adulthood was the main focus of 4% of all funding. Annual NIH funding for CP increased steadily over the study period from $3.6 to $66.7 million. However, funding for clinical intervention studies peaked in 2008, and has since decreased.
Interpretation: Additional research funds are needed to improve the treatment and prevention of CP. Topics that have been relatively underfunded include clinical interventions, prevention, and term infants and adults with CP.
© 2015 Mac Keith Press.