From neuroscience to neuro-rehabilitation

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Over the last few decades, our understanding of the pathophysiology of Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders has increased. This has paved the way for research into possible therapeutic approaches for treating CNS disorders, such as spinal cord injury and hemiparesis following stroke, in order to improve the quality of patients’ lives. Yet whilst research in a laboratory setting is ongoing, a gap remains in our knowledge of how such treatments can be transferred to daily, clinical use.

A new thematic series recently published in Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation focuses on rehabilitation treatment strategies for CNS disorders and showcases some of the cutting-edge research aimed at bridging the gap between basic science and clinical application. ‘From neuroscience to neuro-rehabilitation: transferring basic neuroscientific principles from laboratory to bedside’, guest edited by Alexander Koenig, includes rehabilitation strategies such as locomotor training after spinal cord injury, using powered exoskeletons as a tool for gait rehabilitation following stroke, and investigating how power training affects recovery of upper-extremity motor function post-stroke.

In the series Editorial, Koenig et al. summarise by saying that ‘Taken together, these articles highlight the importance of patient-centered approaches towards improving functional outcomes and quality of life’. They emphasise that, due to the heterogeneity of functional impairments as a result of CNS disorders, rehabilitation programs need to be individually customised to address the underlying functional deficits of each patient; a conclusion which is in keeping with the move towards personalized medicine.

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, overseen by Editor-in-Chief Paolo Bonato, is one of the leading publications in the field of rehabilitation research. The journal provides a venue for topical research that results from the cross-fertilization of a range of disciplines, including neuroscience, biomedical engineering and physical medicine and rehabilitation. To stay up-to-date on the latest research published in the journal, please register and sign up for article alerts, or for more information on the journal, please visit the journal’s about page.