Rehab Centers: The Changing Field of Rehabilitation: Optimizing Spontaneous Regeneration and Functional Recovery.

The changing field of rehabilitation: optimizing spontaneous regeneration and functional recovery.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Handb Clin Neurol. 2012; 109: 317-36
McDonald JW, Sadowsky CL, Stampas A

For neurorehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI), the traditional emphasis on social adaptation is being expanded to include strategies that promote plasticity and regeneration in the central nervous system. Such strategies are needed to optimize recovery of neurological function. For example, the known dependence of most cellular processes on physical activity has led to the novel concept that activity is important in neural repair. This hypothesis has given rise to activity-based restoration therapies (ABRT), which aim to optimize neural activity in the damaged spinal cord, particularly below the injury level. Here, we review the basic science and clinical evidence supporting the lifelong use of ABRT for recovery from spinal cord injury. We define and describe ABRT, and discuss its components, its clinical applications, its relationship to medical management of spinal cord injury, and the potential influences of medications on recovery. We also discuss the health benefits of ABRT under physiological and pathological conditions. We stress that lifelong ABRT is required to optimize return of function and to allow patients to benefit from any “cures” that will be discovered.
HubMed – rehab


Promoting optimal functioning in spinal cord injury: the role of rehabilitation psychology.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Handb Clin Neurol. 2012; 109: 297-314
Wegener ST, Adams LL, Rohe D

Comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation includes attention to the psychological needs of individuals with SCI and their families. This chapter is designed to familiarize neurologists and other practitioners with psychological issues and care in SCI. While psychologists play a key role, attention to psychosocial health is a responsibility shared by all members of the rehabilitation team, beginning with the patient and family, and including clinicians who are not formally identified as mental health providers. Treatment planning for a person with SCI begins with a thorough assessment of the cognitive, emotional, personality, and social factors that influence functioning and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation psychologists use a mixture of assessment tools, including clinical interviews, behavioral observations, and a wide range of standardized test instruments. Psychological interventions can involve direct intervention with the patient, in individual, family or group-based therapies. Other psychological strategies involve assistance through less direct methods – consultation and training to other rehabilitation team members or facilitating peer role-modeling and support groups. The chapter provides an overview of core clinical issues (emotional responses, substance use, pain, cognitive deficits, sexuality and vocational rehabilitation), delineates the process of psychological assessment and intervention, and provides guidance on incorporation of rehabilitation psychology into SCI rehabilitation.
HubMed – rehab


Spinal cord stimulation: therapeutic benefits and movement generation after spinal cord injury.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Handb Clin Neurol. 2012; 109: 283-96
Tator CH, Minassian K, Mushahwar VK

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological condition that leads to loss of motor and sensory function. It commonly causes impairments in limb movements, respiration, bowel and bladder function, as well as secondary complications including pain, spasticity, and pressure ulcers. Numerous interventions such as neuroprotection, regeneration, pharmacology, rehabilitation training, and functional electrical stimulation are under investigation for improving function after SCI. This chapter discusses the use of spinal cord stimulation (epidural and intraspinal electrical stimulation) for alleviating pain and spasticity, and restoring standing and walking. Epidural stimulation is effective in reducing the intensity of intractable pain, but its effectiveness in the treatment of spasticity remains unclear. It can induce rhythmic, locomotor-like movements in the legs, presumably due to the activation of afferent pathways. Intraspinal microstimulation is a new electrical stimulation approach that activates locomotor-related networks within the ventral regions of the lumbosacral spinal cord. In animals, this approach is capable of producing prolonged, fatigue-resistant standing and stepping of the hindlegs. While the results in animals have been very encouraging, technical advancements are necessary prior to its implementation in humans with SCI. Taken collectively, spinal cord stimulation holds substantial promise in restoring function after neural injury or disease.
HubMed – rehab



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