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Innovative methods in neuropsychological rehabilitation
The project focuses on neuropsychological rehabilitation of patients that have suffered brain stroke or trauma. Brain injuries often lead to loss or impairment of functions, like language, memory, attention, vision, hearing, emotional or motor control, etc. which are usually accompanied by personality disturbances and/or impairments in patients daily activities. Epidemiological studies show a worldwide increase in the incidence of brain-damage and besides the enormous magnitude of human suffering, brain disorders are a large economic burden to society due to the associated direct and indirect costs. Estimates of such cost are in the range of many billion EUROs and the DANA ALLIANCES in New York has estimated that one third of all medical costs can be attributed to CNS disorders. A primary goal of modern neuroscience is therefore to find new ways to treat neurological and psychiatric diseases more effectively. The recent developments of neuroimaging diagnostic methods (such as e.g., functional or structural magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, magneto-encephalography, electrophysiology) permits the identification of brain regions involved in particular mental tasks, pointing clinicians and researchers to the complexity of interactions in brain injury repair and recovery of function. In spite of many approaches to mapping the working brain, our knowledge on mechanisms underlying recovery of functions are still relatively limited. Professional intervention programs (to satisfy patients needs in a relatively short time) and our ability to meet economic demands constitute important priorities of modern rehabilitation. These priorities point to important factors beyond patients control. Increasing evidence suggests that rehabilitation programs are clinically effective and can improve cognitive functioning.
Language, hearing, neuropsychological rehabilitation, vision
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