Bevica Center for NeuroEngineering Solutions in Stroke Rehabilitation

The Bevica-sponsored research center hosted the succesful ICNR2014 meeting here in Aalborg with more than 250 participants from all over the world. 

Challenging current concepts of stroke neurorehabilitation

Treatment induced neuroplasticity is important for functional recovery after stroke. However, the individual response is not predictable. There is a need to challenge which, when and how treatments are applied.
We believe that the ability to understand, measure, and induce appropriate plastic changes will lead to optimal, individualized treatments.
The aim is to develop novel and effective augmentation methods that exploit and promote plastic changes in the brain.
We bring together the interdisciplinary research fields of neural engineering, media technology, neuropsychology and clinical rehabilitation.

Stroke

Cerebral stroke is caused by a hemorrhage or blood clot in the brain. In Denmark, the prevalence of strokes is approximately 0.3% every year. In total, 30.000-40.000 persons live with the consequences of a stroke. Stroke causes 10-12% of all deaths in western countries and 12% of these deaths are in people less than 65 years of age.
Cortical representation of sensory and motor neuronal activity is modified substantially when acquiring new motor skills during recovery after brain injury/stroke. Cortical plasticity typically involves remapping of functions onto nearby brain tissue that survived the brain injury. This plasticity is believed to be a main mechanism for functional motor recovery after injury despite limited scientific evidence for the significance of these neuronal plastic changes. Translational studies from animal models to human models and further into clinical studies are sparse within neurorehabilitation. Moreover, when evaluating the rehabilitation effort in the individual patient it is difficult to quantify the functional/cortical remapping with the existing assessment tools. Improved methods for effective training as assessed by functional improvement and plastic changes in sensory/motor cortices in stroke patients are highly needed. Sensitive techniques to identify the most effective training paradigms in individual patients are wanted.

What is neurorehabilitation?

Neurorehabilitation is a complex and multifaceted process aiming at recovery following nervous system injury or disease. The technological contributions focus on methods to promote the recovery and/or replacing or augmenting lost or diminished functions.

Which challenges do we face?

Understanding the neural mechanisms in stroke recovery – translate knowledge into new rehabilitation strategies

  • How can we measure, quantify and track neural changes following stroke?
  • Can we optimize the rehabilitation strategy for the individual patient based on this knowledge?

Engineering or re-engineering of rehabilitation techniques

  • Develop new multi-disciplinary, patient-centered rehabilitation strategies that integrate cognitive and psychological aspects
  • Develop methods to quantify and track the effect and rate of recovery
  • Identify markers to predict recovery

Translate experimental research to clinical practice

  • Choose and design personalized rehabilitation strategies
  • Design low-cost, mobile solutions for home-training or post-hospital monitoring of recovery
  • Design of bed-side, in-hospital tools for assessment of recovery

What is our approach?

We bring together the scientific fields of neural engineering and technological sciences, neuropsychology, and clinical rehabilitation research using an inter-disciplinary and translational approach. Our emphasis is to provide evidence-based solutions to neuroengineering.
Our specific activities include:

  • Focused research projects
  • Annual symposium on 'Engineering Solutions to Neurorehabiliation' – forum for exchange of knowledge and research results
  • Advanced courses in Assessment of motor performance and Neuromuscular adaptations in motor learning

People involved

 

       
       Ole K. Andersen
       oka(at)hst.aau.dk
       SMI
       Department of Health Science and Technology
       Aalborg University


 

 

 

       Winnie Jensen
       wj(at)hst.aau.dk
       SMI
       Department of Health Science and Technology
       Aalborg University

 


 


       Helle R. M. Jørgensen
       hrmj(at)rn.dk
       Brønderslev Neurorehabilitation Center
       Vendsyssel Sygehus

 


 

       Thomas B. Moeslund
       tbm(at)create.aau.dk
       Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology
       Aalborg University

 



 


       Natalie Mrachacz-Kersting
       nm(at)hst.aau.dk
       SMI
       Department of Health Science and Technology
       Aalborg University

 


 

       Jørgen Feldbæk Nielsen
       joerniel(at)rm.dk
       Regionshospitalet Hammel Neurocenter
       Aarhus University

 



 

       Laura Petrini
       lap(at)hst.aau.dk
       SMI
       Department of Health Science and Technology
       Aalborg University

 


 


       Erika G. Spaich
       espaich(at)hst.aau.dk
       SMI
       Department of Health Science and Technology
       Aalborg University

 

 

 

       Niels Svaneborg
       nis(at)rn.dk
       Region Nordjylland

 


 

 

 

       Birgit Larsen
       bgl(at)ucn.dk
       Department of Physiotherapy 
       University College Nordjylland

 

 

Boris Modrau
boris.modrau(at)rn.dk
Region Nordjylland