Neurological and Ageing Rehabilitation Research Unit Ghent

Non-congenital brain injuries (NAH) and rehabilitation

Shoulder pain in persons after a cerebrovascular accident (CVA)

Hemiplegic shoulder pain is influenced by many factors and this complicates its prevention and rehabilitation with great impact on quality of life. This research aims to gather information on the underlying structural and functional changes with various techniques including Shear Wave Elastography (ultrasound).

Hot topic forms of therapy

Through virtual training, people after a CVA can be challenged in a safe way to push their limits and achieve their rehabilitation goals. In cooperation with UZ Gent, several studies are running on the GRAIL (Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab) in the Smart Space lab.

As a result, we wish to gain more insight into the modalities that are best used to optimally rehabilitate patients and investigate the effect of different treatment strategies on the movement pattern of the individual after a CVA.

Motor imagination (M.I.), is a technique that has been used in the sports world for many years. Recent studies show that this exercise method could potentially also be useful for the rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorders. Research around M.I. focuses on optimizing the therapeutic use of M.I. in patients after a CVA and its application in persons after experiencing a traumatic brain injury.

Language difficulties in persons with non-disabling brain injury

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a reliable method to evaluate temporal processing of language in an objective and non-invasive way and is used in the diagnosis and follow-up of aphasia patients and multilingualism.

Current scientific research focuses on the development and standardization of language-related EEG paradigms. In multilingual aphasia patients, the focus is on processing strategies (latency time, cognitive control mechanisms).

A final application area focuses on "awake" surgery in the treatment of primary brain tumors (glioma). When the glioma is located in a distinct language area, surgery attempts to reduce the risk of additional language symptoms.

Speech problems in persons with a non-congenital brain injury

In addition to language problems, persons with NAH may also develop speech problems. Thereby, impaired breath control, vocalization, resonance, articulation or prosody (the rhythm, emphasis and intonation) can complicate speech comprehension. We focus in particular on the cortico-subcortical connectivity of the various networks that contribute to speech perception and production.

Parkinson's disease and rehabilitation

Fall prevention                                                                                

Falling is a common problem in individuals with Parkinson's disease. The aim of the research group is to identify the multidisciplinary risk factors (locomotor system, balance organ, speech ) that contribute to (repeated) falls in persons with Parkinson's disease. Based on this knowledge, efficient fall prevention strategies will be developed for this population.

Auditory processing

It has been shown that persons with Parkinson's disease already in the early stages of the disease perceive sounds louder than they are actually offered. Through EEG studies, our research group identifies the auditory processing problem in persons with Parkinson's disease and develops guidelines for therapy based on the EEG components.

Speech, language and swallowing

Speech and language problems in persons with Parkinson's disease can interfere with speech understanding and communication. Besides perceptual and acoustic analysis, we focus on discourse and conversational analysis, as well as on measuring the effects of medication and deep brain stimulation on language and speech.

 

Ageing and rehabilitation

Fall prevention in older persons

Growing old is a process that involves a number of changes, which can potentially lead to impairments and problems of various kinds. Falling is such a frequent problem in the elderly population with potentially serious health and independence consequences. Our research group, on the one hand, focuses on the role of the ageing axial skeleton, in posture (trunk statics/neck) and strength of the trunk musculature. In the human body, the trunk forms a kinetic link that facilitates the transmission of forces between the upper and lower limbs. On the other hand, attention is also paid to assess fall risk. The cornerstone of preventing falls in old age is adequate fall risk profiling. Various tests and instruments are suggested for this purpose, but finally no single test appears to achieve the desired qualifications. Could a composite cluster of items and tests possibly be the solution here?

Staff

Tenured Academic Staff and Visiting Professors

Prof. dr. MD Katie Bouche

Prof. dr. Dirk Cambier

Prof. dr. Miet De Letter

Prof. dr. MD Kristine Oostra

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Remco Baggen

Dr. Anke Van Bladel

Predoctoral Reseachers

Drs. Yana Criel

Drs. Oona Cromheecke

Drs. Arne Defour

Drs. Daan De Vlieger

Drs. Annelien Dorme

Drs. Ellis Rommers