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Special Sessions

The special sessions will last 90 min and should consist of three talks of 30 min (including questions and discussions).

The following sessions have been accepted for the conference. New proposals are no longer accepted.
SSn.n refers to the Conference ProgramTuesdayWednesdayThursday.

SS1.1: Clinical and Technical Perspectives on Neurorehabilitation - Danish Society for NeuroRehabilitation

Moderator: Jim Jensen
Time, place: Tuesday 9.30-11.00 and 11.30-13.00 in Radiosalen

Description: The link between basic research and clinical practice is widely known as being one of the main obstacles in transferring the knowledge of science to use in clinical settings. The goal of this session is to show examples of technology used in Danish clinical research and practice. Invited speakers are from a broad field of disciplines and areas of interest. The presentations critically focus on clinical relevance of new technology in neurorehabilitation. This session is in cooperation with the Danish Society for NeuroRehabilitation.

SS1.1.1: Neuroplasticity in Constraint Induced Movement Therapy
Jacob Blicher, Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
SS1.1.2: Tongue Motor Training - Behavioral and Neurophysiological Aspects
Mohit Kothari, Department of Dentistry and Hammel Neurocenter, Aarhus University, Denmark
SS1.1.3: Lokomat: clinical training and experience in a neurorehabiltation hospital
Christian Gunge Riberholt, Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark
SS1.1.4: Functional electric stimulation, clinical perspective and implications for future neurorehabilitation
Birgit Larsen, University College Nordjylland, Denmark
SS1.1.5: Technical device for measurement of spasticity, developed for bedside use
Tue Hvass Petersen, Research Unit on Brain Injury Neurorehabilitation, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
SS1.1.6: Does computerized cognitive rehabilitation generalize?
Jonas Kristoffer Lindeløv, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark


SS1.2: Robot-Aided Neurorehabilitation

Moderator: Shunji Moromugi
Time, place: Tuesday 9.30-11.00 in Europahallen

Description: Application of robot technologies is rapidly extended to the field of rehabilitation. Robot is basically good at performing programmed movements. However robot is becoming intelligent and user friendly more and more and starts engaging in versatile jobs interacting with human. It is expected that rehabilitation is one of the promising target fields to apply the robot technologies. In this special session three recent studies on robot-aided neurorehabilitation conducted in Japan are presented. The aim of this session is to discuss how to improve neurorehabilitation's future by utilizing robot technology as a tool to effectively enhance or support the works of medical doctors and therapists in the field.

SS1.2.1: Clinical evaluation of training system for recovery of motor function after stroke in patients with hemiplegia
Yoshifumi Morita, Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan
SS1.2.2: Rehabilitation robot in primary walking pattern training for SCI patient
Taisuke Sakaki, Dept of Biorobotics, Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan
SS1.2.3: Exotendon glove system for finger rehabilitation after stroke
Shunji Moromugi, Dept. of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, Japan


SS1.3: Operant Conditioning of Spinal Reflexes: From Basic Science to Clinical Therapy

Moderators: Jonathan Wolpaw and Aiko Thompson
Time, place: Tuesday 9.30-11.00 in Musiksalen

Description: Operant conditioning of spinal reflexes induces targeted neural plasticity in the spinal cord, and can improve functional recovery in animals and humans with incomplete spinal cord injury. This special session will discuss the mechanisms and effects of this unique training paradigm that has been developed and explored over the past 35 years by Dr. Wolpaw and his colleagues, and is now being translated into clinical applications.

SS1.3.1: Spinal Reflex Conditioning: Mechanisms and Implications
Jonathan Wolpaw
SS1.3.2: Learning to Change a Reflex to Improve Locomotion
Aiko Thompson, Helen Hayes Hospital, New York, USA
SS1.3.3: Stretch Reflex Conditioning in Humans – Implications for Function
Natalie Mrachacz-Kersting, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University


SS1.4: Using Electrical Stimulation to Support Gait Initiation and Gait Training

Moderator: Mariano Serrao
Time, place: Tuesday 9.30-11.00 in Gæstesalen

Description: Electrical stimulation of the central and peripheral nervous system may represent an effective gait rehabilitation strategy that can facilitate gait initiation and lead to improvements in gait performance. Repetitive transcranial and spinal electrical stimulations can potentiate neural synaptic connections at both motor cortex and spinal cord levels  and enhance motoneuron activity by reinforcing descending excitatory pathways. Electrical stimulation of peripheral nerve endings can evoke widthdrawal reflexes in hip, knee, and ankle muscles which can be exploited to promote  gait initiation, by favoring the first step forward, and to assist walking by facilitating the natural alternating activity of lower limb flexor-extensor muscles. The possibility to modulate the reflex responses by stimulating different skin regions of the sole of the foot may allow to shape the reflex outputs according to the required functional motor context. The purpose of this session is to discuss how to improve neurorehabilitation by utilizing stimulation of central and peripheral neurological structures to effectively improve and support walking in patients with motor disorders.

SS1.4.1: Effect of transcranial and spinal direct current stimulation on gait
Giorgio Sandrini, C. Mondino National Neurological Institute and Department of Neuroscience, University of Pavia, Italy
SS1.4.2: Adaptive behavior of the spinal cord in the transition from quiet stance to walking: the use of widthrawal reflexes to support gait initiation
Mariano Serrao, Department of Medical and Surgical Neurosciences and Biotechnologies, Neurorehabilitation Unit, University of Rome, Latina, Italy
SS1.4.3: Using painful sensory stimulation to improve the hemiparetic gait
Erika G. Spaich, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Denmark


SS1.5: Neuromodulation as Pain Treatment

Moderator: Carsten Dahl Mørch
Time, place: Tuesday 11.30-13.00 in Gæstesalen

Description: Electrical stimulation of the nervous system is used as a pain relieving treatment for chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulators have been implanted for decades and have provided pain relief for thousands of patients. The anatomical target pain relieving neuromodulation is thought to be the tactile myelinated ascending fibers. However, the mechanisms of action remain unclear.
This session will first present clinical implication for neuromodulation, a database registry of spinal cord stimulator-implanted patients, what is known of the mechanisms using animal models of spinal cord and peripheral nerve field stimulation and finally computational model identifying the neural targets.

SS1.5.1: Spinal Cord Stimulation: Background and clinical application
Kaare Meier, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
SS1.5.2: Mechanism of Spinal cord and Peripheral Nerve stimulation: More than the Gate control theory
Louis Vera-Portocarrero, Neuromodulation Research, Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, MN, USA
SS1.5.3: Mathematical modeling in neuromodulation for pain relief
Carsten Dahl Mørch: Center for Sensory Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Denmark


SS2.1: At Home Post-stroke Rehabilitation: Closing the Loop with the Hospital

Moderator: Alberto Borghese
Time, place: Wednesday 16.00-17.30 in Europahallen

Description: As shown by the EU funded projects REWIRE and INTERACTION, moving rehabilitation at home is becoming closer and closer thanks to very recent developments in ICT technology. This requires providing two main functionalities: driving the patient through the prescribed exercises and assessing the results. These functionalities should not be stand alone but they should be connected in a loop through a reference hospital. In particular, low-cost game controllers have become a major source of inspiration for researchers working in neurorehabilitation: a great variety of exer-games have been developed to guide patients with different disabilities through the prescribed exercises hiding the tedious repetitiveness under the excitement of games. However, it has been soon recognized that this is not enough and some form of virtual therapist should be provided with the exer-games to provide functionalities like: adaptation, monitoring of correct execution, feed-back without which rehabilitation can become hazardous or even lead to maladaptation. Miniaturization of tracking devices has also open the door for an effective assessment of patients behavior in everyday life. This would allow evaluating not only patients improvement, but also his ability to transfer the regained functionalities in everyday life. In this special session we will provide a clear clinical picture of the needs and specifications of rehabilitation at home. We will fully review how to insert into game engine all the functionalities required to provide rehabilitation at home and several games realized with this technology will be shown. The latest results on body-worn sensors networks tailored to monitor and assess patients' progression will be presented.

SS2.1.1: Clinical rationale and guidelines for rehabilitation at home
Andreas Luft, University of Zurich
SS2.1.2: Game engines and exergames to guide rehabilitation at home
Michele Pirovano, University of Milano
SS2.1.3: Assessing of motor performance in stroke using body worn sensing
Fokke van Meulen, University of Twente


SS2.2: The Potential Role of Spinal Manipulation in Neurorehabilitation

Moderator: Heidi Haavik
Time, place: Wednesday 16.00-17.30 in Radiosalen

Description: This session will review recent research relating to the potential role of spinal manipulation in neuro-rehabilitation. A number of collaborative research projects have been conducted that have involved chiropractic and bioengineering research groups working together  to bridge the gaps between the two disciplines and help to explain the neural mechanisms of action associated with spinal manipulation. These projects have generated and tested some interesting hypotheses relating to the potential implications for neuro-rehabilitation associated with spinal manipulation.

These studies have demonstrated significant neural plastic changes, particularly at the cortical level, following spinal manipulation. These changes have been found to last at least 20-30 minutes and longer term studies are now underway that will examine the long term neural plastic changes associated with spinal manipulation. One of the more recent study findings has significant implications relating to stroke rehabilitation as it suggests a role for spinal manipulation as an adjunct to improve brain computer interface communication.

SS2.2.1: The role of spinal manipulation in modulating neuroplasticity and sensorimotor integration
Bernadette Murphy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
SS2.2.2: Chiropractic Alters TMS Induced Motor Neuronal Excitability: Preliminary Findings
Kemal Türker, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey
SS2.2.3: Chiropractic, cortical excitability and BCI
Imran Khan Niazi, New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand


SS2.3: Robots for Learning and Training of Movements

Moderator: Verena Klamroth-Marganska
Time, place: Wednesday 16.00-17.30 in Musiksalen

Description: What are the implications for the design and control of therapeutic robots? The main objective of this special session is to provide insights into the cooperation and complementation of engineering science with neuroscience.  Know-how derived from basic research on motor learning is transferred into novel robotic systems. In return, robotic systems allow investigating the underlying mechanisms of motor learning. In this special session, we present three examples of different robotic approaches (two exoskeletons and one tendon-based robotic system) for learning and relearning of movements, and their application in healthy subjects and patients with neurological disorders.

SS2.3.1: The Learning Benefits of Haptic Guidance are Age-Dependent
Laura Marchal Crespo
SS2.3.2: Advances in Robotic Gait Training
Herman van der Kooij
SS2.3.3: Strength and Motor Function after Arm Training with an Exoskeleton Robot
Verena Klamroth-Marganska, Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich


SS3.1: Current Research in Advanced Upper Arm Prostheses: Development of a true plug&play solution

Moderator: Michael Russold
Time, place: Thursday 14.30-16.00 in Radiosalen

Description: The most challenging reserach in the area of upper arm prostheses will be presented. Recently a number of novel techniques have been developed in this field. The availability of modern arm-prostheses with multiple degrees of freedom have resulted in a number of new approaches, such as osseointegration, targeted muscle reinnervation, implanted EMG systems and implanted nerve electrodes..

SS3.1.1: Advanced Rehabilitation for Amputees after Selective Nerve Transfers: EMG-Guided Training and Testing
Oskar Aszmann, Dept of Surgery, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Medical University of Vienna
SS3.1.2: Advanced prosthetic control in transhumeral amputees using osseointegration and bidirectional neuromuscular interfaces
Rickard Brånemark, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology
SS3.1.3: Fully implantable multichannel EMG measurement system: First results
Michael Russold, Otto Bock Healthcare Products GmbH, Vienna


SS3.2: New Developments in Robots for Rehabilitation of Walking – Cognitive and Balance Control Aspects

Moderator: Zlatko Matjačić
Time, place: Thursday 14.30-16.00 in Musiksalen

Description: In the last decade rehabilitation robots have made their way into clinical practice where they are becoming an indispensable tool in neurological rehabilitation of the upper and lower extremities. Rehabilitation of walking is readily aided through the use of commercial devices in the form of robotic exoskeletons (like LOKOMAT, Hocoma) or foot-plate based robotic platforms (like G-EO, Rehabilitation Technologies). These devices however currently enable gait training only of straight-line walking due to a lack of appropriate mechanical degrees-of-freedom (DOF). Selection of appropriate leg kinematics and relevant training parameters such as speed of walking and a level of robotic assistance is under the discretion of a therapist while patients are statically stable due to an appropriate level of body-weight-support (BWS) and use of their arms holding onto firm support. Therefore, there is clear challenge to extend the number of DOF to enable appropriately robot supported movement in frontal and transverse planes; consequently i) this will enable practicing of a more challenging maneuvers during walking such as turning thus significantly extending the scope of cognitive involvement of a patient, which will require also adequate cognitive-based control of a robot and ii) it will present an additional challenge to both patient and robot to jointly take care of adequate dynamic balance control during walking.

SS3.2.1: Robot supported gait rehabilitation: clinical needs, current state of the art and future
Zlatko Matjačić, University Rehabilitation Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
SS3.2.2: CORBYS project overview: approach and achieved results
Danijela Ristić-Durrant
SS3.2.3: Exoskeletons Supporting Postural Balance - The BALANCE Project
Jan Veneman


SS3.3: Interlimb Linkages with Implications for Locomotor Rehabilitation

Moderator: E. Paul Zehr
Time, place: Thursday 14.30-16.00 in Gæstesalen

Description: This session summarizes the latest knowledge on neural connections between the limbs during locomotion and the relationship between these connections and locomotor recovery after nervous system damage (e.g. spinal cord injury, stroke). The session spans foundational work in the cat through to applications in clinical populations.

SS3.3.1: The Control of Interlimb Coordination during Left-Right and Transverse Split-Belt Locomotion in Intact and Spinal Cord-Injured Cats
Alain Frigon, Université de Sherbrooke, PQ, Canada
SS3.3.2: Improving Interlimb Coordination Following Stroke: How Can We Change How People Walk (and Why Should We)?
Erin Vasudevan, SUNY Stony Brook University, USA
SS3.3.3: Neuromechanical interlimb interactions and rehabilitation of walking after stroke
E. Paul Zehr, University of Victoria, BC, Canada

Conference ProgramTuesdayWednesdayThursday.

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  • SMI
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