2022 Reddihough Symposium

The Reddihough Symposium is named after Prof Dinah Reddihough AO, a pioneering neurodevelopmental clinician, researcher and educator.


This symposium embodies our department’s key values: best care, compassion, commitment, advocacy and leadership  and is suitable for paediatricians, medical and nursing staff, allied health and education professionals.

Program –  5th Annual Reddihough Symposium 2022



Optimising health in children with cerebral palsy across the lifespan

Prof Mark Peterson Charles E. Lytle, Jr Research Professor; Assoc Professor, University of Michigan – Medicine, USA

Abstract: Among individuals with cerebral palsy (CP), rehabilitation needs and treatment have been established, but are mostly focused on the pediatric population. Evidence demonstrates that the number of adults who live with CP and other childhood-onset disabilities is increasing, and that they experience significant physical and mental health inequalities as they grow up. Specifically, having CP increases the risk for secondary health conditions that are causally linked to the impairments (e.g., muscle spasticity, chronic pain), or occurs as an indirect consequence of the disability itself (e.g., lack of physical activity and related conditions such as hypertension). Consequently, there is a need for approaching health care delivery for patients with CP within the context of a “life course health development model”. This lecture will focus on new and challenging issues in adults with CP, and will integrate information based on research pertaining to secondary physical and mental health complications of chronic inactivity. In addition, viable interventions that may lessen the functional deterioration due to aging of CP will be discussed.

Professor Mark Peterson is the Charles E. Lytle, Jr. Research Professor and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and an active member in the University’s Neuroscience Graduate Program, Institute for Health Policy and Innovation, Michigan Center of the Demography of Aging, and the Michigan Institutes for Data Science. He has 150+ published peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals, on topics related to muscular strength optimization and physical activity advocacy for enhancing metabolic health, improving function and cognitive capacity, increasing life-expectancy, and maximizing athletic performance.

Prof Peterson’s research focuses on understanding factors that influence health and life expectancy in persons with disabilities. Research in his lab occurs within a multidisciplinary and translational space that promotes greater understanding of issues in public health, clinical rehabilitation, human performance, and physiology. His specific research interests have been devoted to physical activity epidemiology and behavioral interventions for the treatment/prevention of obesity and related cardiometabolic diseases, frailty, functional motor declines, and early mortality. This includes research efforts directed at understanding and identifying precision strategies to prevent metabolic dysregulation and secondary musculoskeletal pathology among children and adults with neuromuscular impairments as well as a variety of frailty syndromes, and research to better understand health disparities among individuals with physical disabilities from the context of access to preventive care and community wellness. Prof Peterson’s Grand Round presentation will draw on this research to discuss optimising health in children with cerebral palsy using a lifecourse health development model.




The RCH Multidisciplinary Complex Weight Management Service

Dr Zoe McCallum, Paediatrician, Neurodevelopment & Disability and Gastroenterology & Clinical Nutrition, Royal Children’s Hospital;

Ms Daniella Tassoni, Senior Dietitian, Coordinator, RCH Weight Management Service, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne


1400-1420: Optimising health for all children with neurodisability

Dr Gordon Baikie, Paediatrician, Head, Neurodevelopment & Disability, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Dr Catherine Marraffa, Paediatrician, Neurodevelopment & Disability, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne


1420-1440: An approach to perioperative care of children with neurodisability – Ethical considerations and optimisation of health.

Dr Giuliana Antolovich, Paediatrician, Clinical Stream Leader, Physical Disability, Neurodevelopment & Disability, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

1440- 1510: Orthopaedic surgical care to optimise future participation and wellbeing for children with neurodisability

Dr Wade Shrader, Paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Division Chief Nemours Cerebral Palsy Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware, USA

1515- 1545: Panel discussion

Chair: Prof Christine Imms, Apex Australia Chair of Neurodevelopment & Disability, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne; Director, Healthy Trajectories Child & Youth Disability Research Hub

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