Neurotechnology’s Prospects for Bringing About Meaningful Reductions in Neurological Impairment

David Putrino, John W. Krakauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Here we report and comment on the magnitudes of post-stroke impairment reduction currently observed using new neurotechnologies. We argue that neurotechnology’s best use case is impairment reduction as this is neither the primary strength nor main goal of conventional rehabilitation, which is better at targeting the activity and participation levels of the ICF. The neurotechnologies discussed here can be divided into those that seek to be adjuncts for enhancing conventional rehabilitation, and those that seek to introduce a novel behavioral intervention altogether. Examples of the former include invasive and non-invasive brain stimulation. Examples of the latter include robotics and some forms of serious gaming. We argue that motor learning and training-related recovery are conceptually and mechanistically distinct. Based on our survey of recent results, we conclude that large reductions in impairment will need to begin with novel forms of high dose and high intensity behavioral intervention that are qualitatively different to conventional rehabilitation. Adjunct forms of neurotechnology, if they are going to be effective, will need to piggyback on these new behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-366
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • impairment reduction
  • neurorehabilitation
  • neurotechnology
  • restoration
  • spinal cord injury
  • stroke

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