About this Research Topic
Individuals with impairments from neurological health conditions rank balance and locomotor recovery a top rehabilitation priority. Yet, after clinical rehabilitation, many individuals endure lasting balance and gait impairments that limit participation in the home and community. Technologies ranging from large, expensive, research-based workstation robotic devices to small, inexpensive, wearable sensors and mobile applications have been developed and can be used to advance our understanding and remediate limitations of balance and locomotion. Key benefits of technology include the inherent reproducibility and reliability of its objective measures. Further, when used as an interventional tool, technological devices can provide a higher training intensity than what is typically achieved in traditional rehabilitation. However, despite advances in technology that augment our understanding of neurological pathologies and treatment approaches, many individuals still endure balance and locomotion limitations.
With an increased understanding of neurological health conditions and the integration of comprehensive rehabilitation and research teams that include engineers, physicians, and therapists, we are now better poised than ever before to address critical questions and develop personalized treatments to remediate limitations of balance and locomotion. Advancements in technology continue to be made at a lightening pace. Now, we are able to not only ask more precise questions and provide more individualized, reproducible treatments in the clinic, but, this persistent evolution also allows researchers and clinicians to expand the reach of balance and locomotor research and rehabilitation into home and community environments. It is through this understanding and translation that we can effectuate true change and contribute to lasting recovery. This Research Topic aims to highlight the importance of advancing our knowledge about using technology to monitor, evaluate and modify balance and locomotion disorders of neurological populations.
The purpose of this Research Topic is to highlight research that uses either existing or novel technologies (i.e., robotic devices, accelerometry, wearable sensors, mobile applications) in a population of individuals with a neurological health condition (i.e., Parkinsons disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc.) to address three primary aims. The first aim will utilize technologies to assess biomechanical, kinematic, and/or kinetic properties of balance and/or locomotion either in a clinic/laboratory setting or in the home/community environment. The second aim will employ technologies to investigate theories or principles of motor learning or re-learning in balance and/or locomotor tasks. Lastly, the third aim will be to capitalize on advancements in technology to rehabilitate balance or locomotor within a neurologically impaired population. Contributions that address these aims, as well as perspectives that drive rehabilitation of balance or locomotion of individuals with a neurological impairment, are welcomed.
Keywords: Neurorehabilitation, Gait, Balance, Robotics, mHealth
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