Research

The University of Michigan Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Program is a leader of evidence-based research on peripheral nerve condition and brachial plexus palsy. From rigorous study design to data analysis and interpretation, our mission is to forward research efforts to evaluate and improve patients’ overall function and quality of life, including physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects. Our interdisciplinary setting provides the collaborative opportunity to investigate the most innovative ideas that lie at the junction of different specialties. We hope to understand more about this condition and its diagnosis, evaluation and treatment. Your participation is very important, and your willingness to share your experiences will help physicians and researchers to provide better services to you and future patients.

If you would like to learn more about current studies of peripheral nerve condition and/or brachial plexus palsy, please email bpclinic@umich.edu.  

 

Current Areas of Investigation

  • Establishment of data to support the use of novel or controversial medical and surgical treatments
  • Development of facile evaluation/assessment methods
  • Development of nerve regeneration devices 
  • Development of evidence-based critical pathways for the treatment of patients
  • Assessment of the efficacy of novel computer game-based home therapy exercise regimens
  • Evaluation of novel radiological methods for diagnosing and treating patients
  • Evaluation of electrodiagnostic methods in the clinic and operating room
  • Assessment of the utility of multimedia patient educational tools
  • Evaluation of the psychosocial aspects and quality of life of patients       

Education and Training

Our program provides learning opportunities for patients, physicians, nurses, occupational/physical therapists, residents and medical students who are interested in learning more about this unique condition.

Please email bpclinic@umich.edu for more information.    

Selected Publications (full list provided upon request)

PubMed Articles →
  1. Smith, Chang, Saake, Yang, Chung, Brown. (2019) Quantifying Real-World Upper-Limb Activity Via Patient-Initiated Movement After Nerve Reconstruction for Upper Brachial Plexus Injury. Neurosurgery. 2019 Sep 1;85(3):369-374.
  2. Smith, Daunter, Yang, Wilson. (2018) An Update on the Management of Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy-Replacing Old Paradigms: A Review. JAMA Pediatr. 2018 Jun 1;172(6):585-591.
  3. Smith, Chang, Yang, Spires. (2018) Comparative Accuracies of Electrodiagnostic Studies in Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2018 Oct 1:1-6.
  4. Henning, Lueders, Chang, Yang. (2018) Ultrasound-Guided Carpal Tunnel Release Using Dynamic Expansion of the Transverse Safe Zone in a Patient with Postpolio Syndrome: A Case Report. PM R. 2018 Mar 6. pii: S1934-1482(18)30118-7.
  5. Chang, Wilson, Popadich, Brown, Chung, Yang. (2018) Oberlin transfer compared with nerve grafting for improving early supination in neonatal brachial plexus palsy. J Neurosurg Peds 2018 Feb;21(2):178-184.
  6. Justice, Awori, Spencer, Chang, Yang. (2018) Use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in the Treatment of Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy: A Literature Review. OJOT 2018 6(3). 
  7. Willsey, Wilson, Henning, Yang. (2017) Intraoperative Ultrasound for Peripheral Nerve Applications. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2017 Oct;28(4):623-632.
  8. Justice, Rasmussen, Di Pietro, Chang, Murphy, Nelson, Yang. (2015) Prevalence of Posterior Shoulder Subluxation in Children With Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy After Early Full Passive Range of Motion Exercises. PM R. 2015 Dec;7(12):1235-1242.
  9. Chang, Justice, Chung, Yang. (2013) A Systematic Review of Evaluation methods for Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, 2013 Oct;12(4):395-405
  10. Rasmussen, Justice, Chang, Yang, Nelson. (2013) Home Exercise DVD Promotes Exercise Accuracy by Caregivers of Children and Adolescents with Brachial Plexus Palsy. PM&R 2013; 5:924-930.
  11. Yang, Chang, Chung (2012) A systematic review of nerve transfer and nerve repair for the treatment of adult upper brachial plexus injury. Neurosurgery. 2012 Aug;71(2):417-429
  12. Vanderhave, Bovid, Alpert, Chang, Quint, Leonard, Yang. (2012) Utility of electrodiagnostic testing and computed tomography myelography in the preoperative evaluation of neonatal brachial plexus palsy. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 Mar;9(3):283-289.
  13. Hervey-Jumper, Justice, Vanaman, Nelson, Yang. (2011) Torticollis Associated With Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy. Pediatr Neurol. 2011 Nov;45(5):305-310.
  14. Malessy, Pondaag, Yang, Hofstede-Buitenhuis, Cessie, Gert van Dijk. (2011) Severe Obstetric Brachial Plexus Palsies Can Be Identified at One Month of Age. PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26193.
  15. Squitieri, Steggerda, Yang, Kim, Chung. (2011) A National Study to Evaluate Trends in the Utilization of Nerve Reconstruction for Treatment of Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Jan;127(1):277-283.
  16. Bowerson, M., Nelson, V.S., Yang, L.J.-S. (2009) “Diaphragmatic Paralysis Associated with Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy" Pediatric Neurology, 42 (3):234-23
  17. Ulgen, B.O., Brumblay, H., Doyle, S.M., Chung, K.C., Yang, L.J.-S. (2008) "Augusta Dejerine-Klumpke, MD (1859-1927):  A Historical Perspective on Klumpke’s Palsy."  Neurosurgery, 63 (2):359-366.
  18. Watt, A.J., Niederbichler, A.D., Yang, L.J.-S., Chung, K.C. (2007) "Wilhelm Heinrich Erb, MD (1840-1921):  A Historical Perspective on Erb’s Palsy."  Plast Reconstr Surg. 119(7), 2161-2166
  19. Yang, L.J.-S., Anand, P, Birch, R.  (2005) “Limb preference in children with obstetric brachial plexus palsy”  Pediatr. Neurol. 33(1), 46-49.