Special Issue "Application of Robotic Devices for Neurologic Rehabilitation"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019) | Viewed by 13166
2. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
Interests: stroke rehabilitation; neurological rehabilitation; exercise therapy; technologies for rehabilitation; musculoskeletal disorders; geriatric rehabilitation; healthy ageing; rehabilitation outcome measures; rehabilitation outcome prediction
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The application of robotic devices to rehabilitation of sensorimotor deficits after central nervous system lesions has greatly developed in the last few decades. Interdisciplinary cooperation between neurophysiologists, medical specialists, physiotherapists, and engineers to develop more adaptable, clinically usable, and effective devices is constantly improving, but the implementation of robotic rehabilitation into clinical practice is still limited.
Indeed, robotic rehabilitation has the potential to provide many advantages in terms of standardization of tasks, real-time measurements and feedback, relief of a physiotherapist’s physical burden, and, most importantly, intensity of training, which seems to be highly correlated to the promotion of neuroplasticity and neurophysiological recovery. To enhance the effects on motor learning, brain–machine interfaces are becoming more and more sophisticated, and new rehabilitation paradigms, including advanced robot-mediated training strategies, are also being developed and studied.
Research is currently being carried out on the potential benefits of robotic rehabilitation for many neurologic conditions, but moderate to high quality evidence has already been provided for the application of robotic rehabilitation to stroke patients, combined with conventional physiotherapy. As to stroke, robot-assisted gait training has moderate quality evidence of effectiveness to promote recovery of independent walking, and high-quality evidence commends robotic upper limb training to improve activities of daily living, and paretic arm strength and function.
However, specific questions about the type of device and exercises, the timing, frequency, and duration of robot‐assisted lower and upper limb training, as well as translational models of implementing robotic rehabilitation into clinical practice must yet be clarified.
Another potentially relevant advantage of robotic rehabilitation is the possibility to detect real-time measures of the patient’s performance, but the correlation of these device-derived measures to validated clinical tools for assessing clinically significant changes in patients’ sensorimotor impairments and functioning has not been fully explored.
Finally, robotic rehabilitation is often integrated with serious games and virtual reality. The ratio is to increase a patient’s engagement and motivation, by playing an active role in exercises simultaneously involving body and mind. Training sometimes allows experiencing simulated real-life tasks, while maintaining a safe, monitored, and supervised environment. In this regard, the tackled cognitive processes need further investigation, along with the potential effects of a specifically designed, combined training of motor and cognitive functions, as, for instance, attention, concentration, spatial attention, and executive functions.
This Special Issue aims to cover the abovementioned items, focusing on advances in the development of robotic devices, on neurophysiological mechanisms implied in robotic rehabilitation, including cognitive processes, and on translational research models of implementation, sustainability, and effects of robotic rehabilitation, applied to stroke and to other neurologic conditions.
Dr. Francesca Cecchi
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- Robotic rehabilitation
- Robotic assessment
- Robot-assisted therapy
- Robot design
- Robot-aided cognitive rehabilitation
- Robotics for neurorehabilitation
- Brain-machine interfaces in neurorehabilitation
- Neurologic rehabilitation
- Rehabilitation neurophysiology
- Stroke rehabilitation