Potentialiser les traitements de réadaptation neurologique par les nouvelles technologies : de la robotique en passant par la stimulation transcrânienne

 

Marie-Hélène Milot

CSSS-Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke

 

Domaine : viellissement

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2016-2017

About 300 000 Canadians are currently living with the consequences of stroke. Weakness contralateral to the lesioned brain is a common sequelae having a major negative impact on movement execution by the affected upper limb during everyday activities as well as on the level of independence and social participation of stroke survivors. Training of the affected upper limb is known to be an effective way to improve strength, recovery, functional gains as well as brain plasticity and it has been extensively used in rehabilitation settings. Despite clinical guidelines on how to provide training exercises after stroke and with most of the stroke survivors fully committing to them, there is still a great variability in training responses; with some stroke survivors presenting substantial to no gain at all. To allow a broader range of stroke survivors to benefit from training, it becomes urgent to study ways to optimize training responses.

The current research agenda does explore two ways of boosting training gains: robotic training and brain stimulation techniques. In such, robotic training can incorporate sophisticated up-to-date motor learning strategies to promote further improvement following training. Brain stimulation techniques can optimize training responses by allowing investigating the state of the lesioned brain to properly dose training and by modulating the brain excitability, placing it in an optimal state of learning. Ultimately, these techniques aim at improving the effectiveness of rehabilitation intervention provided by therapists as well as allowing a greater number of stroke survivors to regain an optimal level of independence and quality of life after stroke.