The Early Moves Project.
The first 1,000 days of life are crucial for the cognitive development of a child.
The Early Moves project is working to identify a biomarker for cognitive impairment in infants as young as 3 months of age, allowing early diagnosis and intervention and most importantly improving outcomes for children and their families.
Early Moves is led by Professor Jane Valentine at Perth Children’s Hospital and Professor Catherine Elliott at Curtin University. Early Moves will follow 3000 families recruited from The ORIGINS Project (a collaboration between Joondalup Health Campus and Telethon Kids Institute) and St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a paradigm shift in the diagnosis of cognitive impairment at the earliest time of life. Importantly, early diagnosis means earlier intervention and significantly improved outcomes for children.” – Dr Jane Valentine, Consultant Paediatrician, Kids Rehab WA, Perth Children’s Hospital..
Currently, there isn’t a reliable, measurable marker to identify children with cognitive impairment in their first 1,000 days. Without this biomarker, early intervention at the most critical time for brain growth is missed.
Early Moves assesses general movements (GM’s) and use a quick, non-invasive video-based assessment which can be conducted from birth to 3 months. This is then uploaded via a smart-phone app to be evaluated by a trained clinician. The use of widely available technology means that babies from across WA can be easily assessed, improving the chances of early diagnosis and treatment.
As a result of this Foundation funded research, WA infants with cognitive impairment and their families will receive very early best practice intervention or entry into clinical trials to discover the most effective treatments to ensure they reach their full long-term potential.
Early Moves receives funding from: the National Health and Medical Research Council; Telethon 7 Trust; The Cerebral Palsy Alliance; the Western Australia Child Research Fund; Mineral Resources Limited; and the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Early Moves establishes collaborations between Perth Children’s Hospital, Child Development Services, St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals, Joondalup Health Campus, Telethon Kids Institute, Curtin University, and the University of Western Australia as well as national and international partners.
This alignment of strong clinical teams with research teams supports the direct and immediate translation of this project into clinical practice across WA’s Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) and internationally, ensuring maximum impact of the research for children and families.
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