San Raffaele hospital, Milan Italy
Title: New Technologies: A new era for Neurorehabilitation
Biography: Dr. Sandro Iannaccone
Over the last years, there has been increasing developments of new technologies to provide solutions to the limitations of standard rehabilitation (drop-outs, limited evaluation scores, or physical limitations of therapists) to enhance learning following neurological insults. To this aim, virtual reality (VR) settings provide an enriched environment able to generate augmented multisensory feedbacks (auditory, visual and proprioceptive). These settings, involving the mirror neurons system, help patients to develop a real-time "knowledge of results” and "knowledge of performance”, favoring the physiological mechanism of reinforcement learning. Such innovative strategies can be applied directly in the rehabilitation of motor, cognitive and speech functions, as well as in chronic pain treatment. Moreover, standard or virtual reality-based neurorehabilitation can be potentiated through the concomitant application of non-invasive brain stimulation, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Indeed, the NeuroAD system offers the possibility of applying cortical stimulation during cognitive training. TDCS can also be applied on-line, during motor or cognitive rehabilitation. Moreover, as a portable device, it also brings the opportunity to the patient to be applied at home. Thus, the development of new technologies in NeuroRehabilitation is converging towards multimodal treatments offering the possibility of home-based monitoring.