About the book
Neurorehabilitation is among the most significant and actively investigated domains of central nervous system impairments today. Underlying factors are multiple, but begin with the knowledge that brain dysfunction is widely variable and highly prevalent in the general population. Vascular disorders, such as ischemic strokes or subdural hematomas, degenerative diseases like Parkinsons, ALS, or multiple sclerosis, infections like meningitis, trauma, and structural and functional disorders all contribute to brain pathologies. Combined with extraordinary strides in structural and physiological brain diagnosis, which merge neuroimaging with functionally linked mathematical models, this need for intervention has stimulated the development of a spectrum of strategic approaches to neurorehabilitation. Often involving an array of neurotechnological interventions these span the range from external motor enhancing exoskeletons to brain communication and modulation technology. Indeed there is growing consensus that functional recovery is in many cases achievable, either through assisted replacements, or neural restoration. Among the most promising developments for replacing function is the greatly improved ability to interpret relevant brain activity through machine learning techniques like deep learning and to analyze large scale data regimes. Coupled with robotic devices through computer interfacing, these are enabling patients to overcome cognitive and, especially, impaired motor abilities. Frequently pursued strategies for restoration, moreover, avail the intrinsic plasticity of brain activity. Through neurofeedback, for example, restoration strategies incorporate the patient as an integral component of the repair loop, where he can both monitor and accelerate his recovery. In other cases non-invasive neurostimulatory protocols, such as tDCS are inducing plastic mechanisms that activate or establish new functional channels.
This book intends to offer a comprehensive review of current neurorehabilitation approaches and advanced strategies for the professional researcher and therapist.