Emerging Technologies for Neuro-Rehabilitation after Stroke: Robotic Exoskeletons and Active FES-Assisted Therapy

Emerging Technologies for Neuro-Rehabilitation after Stroke: Robotic Exoskeletons and Active FES-Assisted Therapy

Andrés F. Ruiz Olaya (Universidad Antonio Nariño, Colombia) and Alberto López Delis (Universidad de Oriente, Cuba)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7373-1.ch001
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Rehabilitation of motor function has been linked to motor learning that occurs during repetitive, frequent, and intensive training. Neuro-rehabilitation is based on the assumption that motor learning principles can be applied to motor recovery after injury, and that training can lead to permanent improvements in motor function in patients with motor deficits. The emergent research field of Rehabilitation Engineering may provide promised technologies for neuro-rehabilitation therapies, exploiting the motor learning and neural plasticity concepts. Among those promising technologies are robotic exoskeletons and active FES-assisted systems, which could provide repetitive training-based therapies and have been developed to aid or control the upper and lower limb movements in response to user's intentionality. This chapter describes those emerging technologies to enhance the neuro-rehabilitation processes of motor-disabled people at upper limb level and presents how a natural control to command above external devices from Electromyography could be implemented.
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Background Concepts In Neurorehabilitation And Motor Recovery

Several processes have been identified as playing a role in neurological recovery following stroke; however, the role each plays is not completely understood. Scientific researches have indicated that the cerebral cortex undergoes functional and structural reorganization for weeks to months following injury with compensatory changes. Recovery can be grouped into two categories: 1) local CNS processes (early recovery); 2) CNS reorganization (later recovery) (Sharma, Classen & Cohen, 2013). Neurological reorganization plays an important role in the restoration of function. It can extend for a much longer period of time than local processes, and is of particular interest because it can be influenced by rehabilitation training exploiting the motor learning concept.

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