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JPRM vol. 17 issue 1 Opening Editorial

We would like to thank Dr. Mike Green for all his years of service as a special editor of the annual Cerebral Palsy (CP) issue. We wish him the best as he redirects his focus to our new Brain Injury special issue. In his place, we welcome Dr. Sruthi Thomas, a fellow pediatric physiatrist and clinician scientist with a research focus on hypertonia in CP. She has previously served as the social media editor of the journal. Dr. Thomas has a passion for developing clinical trials in CP, particularly ones focused on interventions already currently in use that lack evidence but are being applied historically. Her position piece with the CP Global Clinical Trials Network highlights three key strategies to accelerate research in CP: consumer engagement, global clinical trial networks, and adaptive trial designs. Consumer engagement in research has been highlighted in many previous manuscripts and editorials of this journal so it should not come as a surprise to our readership that it is a key element in moving the fieldforward.

To further the goal of incorporating the voices of those with lived experience, we welcome two additional new Guest Editors to the CP special issue, Drs. Justin Ramsey and Christopher Raffi Najarian. Not only are they both outstanding pediatric physiatrists, but they also both have CP themselves. Dr. Ramsey has helped create two separate movement programs and has a passion for tone management and professional mentoring. Dr. Najarian is director of a spasticity clinic and is an advocate for adaptive sports participation for those with CP and other disabilities. Their editorial on disability representation in healthcare highlights the deficit and biases of the healthcare field but also explores ways to correct the problem.They hope to work along a small but growing network of individuals to improve conditions that may enable better representation and stronger voices in medical and research fields.

We wanted to shift the lens of this year’s CP special issue to topics that are often under represented in CP research but matter to individuals with CP a great deal, often more so than the classic hypertonia and gait topics. A unique option for simultaneous spasticity and pain management is highlighted along with opiate use among individuals with CP. Multiple articles address speech and respiratory topics, including apnea, swallow studies, ultrasound for submental and mastication muscles, and diaphragmatic breathing. Additionally, we include an article investigating the role of socio-demographics on access to care for CP and sexuality for adults with CP. One of the key issues that we note is the great need for further development in care of adult orthopedic complications related to cerebral palsy. “Management and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Problems in Adults with Cerebral Palsy: Experience Gained from Two Lifespan Clinics,” developed as an invited article by senior members of the orthopedic community who are willing to share experiences that they have noted within their clinical practices.

This edition represents the work of a great many individuals. We are grateful for the submissions and authors who contributed to this 2024 CP edition. It is important for us to acknowledge that this journal exists secondary to the efforts of our fantastic journal staff and clinicians/researchers willing to spend time as article reviewers. We hope you find this edition useful in improving the care and medical treatment of individuals with CP and similar conditions.