The science behind NeuroMo
CURRENT CHALLENGES WITH REHABILITATION
An estimated 1 billion people live with neurological conditions, ranging from stroke and traumatic brain injury to neurodegenerative diseases. (1)
After the onset of a neurological condition, people often experience challenges with movement that disrupt activities of daily living and decrease quality of life.
Motor rehabilitation incorporating physical activity is known to support gains in motor function even in the chronic stages of neurological conditions. (2)
For this reason, exercise has been suggested as a lifestyle factor that can potentially reduce or delay the progression of the symptoms of neurological disease, including cognition.(3)(4)
However, deciding on the type of exercise that would be the most beneficial for each patient is challenging given the wide heterogeneity of the motor and cognitive symptoms associated with neurological conditions. Rehabilitation programmes are also often delivered in groups which makes is difficult to individualize the exercises according to the characteristics of each patient. (5)
Access to rehabilitation may also be challenging for patients due to pricing issues, lack of proximity of specialised institutions, depression and anxiety that may impact adherence to the programme and/or the lack of availability of transport to the rehabilitation centre. (5,6,7,8,9,10,11)
The development of telemedicine and mobile health applications has the potential to overcome some of the challenged mentioned above, however, there are several limitations regarding the use of mobile health apps e.g. less than 1% of available APPs is grounded in research evidence. (12)
In summary, although cognitive and motor rehabilitation is known to improve functional outcomes in neurological patients, access to such rehabilitation is still challenging and associated with important unmet needs. Overall, the link between activity-dependent nature of physical conditioning and neuroplasticity demonstrate the rationale for, and importance of, providing motor rehabilitation to people with chronic neurological conditions.
The mechanisms by which motor and cognitive training support the rehabilitation of patients with neurological diseases is complex and not fully elucidated.
In chronic stages of neurological conditions, motor rehabilitation benefits may be attributed to improved physical conditioning and experience-dependent neuroplasticity, or the rewiring of neural connections in response to experience. (13,14)
There is also evidence that exercise increases the volume of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and may potentiate neurogenesis, while sensory stimulation could modulate neural oscillations and enhance brain plasticity. (15,16,17,18,19)
A study by Bamidis et al. showed that dual tasks training can produce new neuronal networks or strengthen synaptic activity. (20)
While the mechanism of action by which cognitive and motor rehabilitation supports an improvement in the functionality of patients with neurological diseases still needs to be fully understood, there is no doubt about its beneficial effects on patients and their quality of life.
Our ambition is to create a modulable programme using the NeuroMo system. Such programme will leverage AI to create a unique individualised training adapted and accessible to each patient and each pathology.
The results from the previous NeuroMo Clinical Trials are already available.