Assessment of Neuroplasticity induced by Therapeutic FES
Stroke is a one of the leading causes of adult disability worldwide, and it is the second most costly disease in Europe.
Rehabilitation of motor function after stroke is limited by the extent to which functional neuroplasticity be effected in the brain – i.e., the extent to which the brain can reorganise its neuronal network and strengthen its connections to the muscles. Rehabilitation therapies that enhance this functional neuroplasticity should be expected to produce the best clinical results.
Therapeutic Functional Electrical Stimulation (Therapeutic FES) is a new rehabilitation strategy that has been pioneered in Denmark. It is based on sound physiologic principles and has been successful in recent clinical trials.
The primary scientific goal of this project is to investigate the how cortical plasticity may be enhanced by rehabilitation.
The main objectives of the project are to
characterise the reorganisation of the motor cortex as a result of Therapeutic FES, and
determine if functional plasticity can be improved with pharmacologic intervention or by enhancing visual feedback.
Experiments will be conducted with both healthy volunteers and stroke patients.
This project will lead to a better understanding of the mechanism that underlay successful rehabilitation of motor disability following stroke.
Such understanding is essential for the development of new neurorehabilitation methods that improve the recovery of sensory and motor function in people with stroke-induced disability.
Head of project: Michael James Grey