Semin Neurol 2021; 41(02): 111-123
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1725132
Review Article

Clinical Neurorehabilitation: Using Principles of Neurological Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Neuroplasticity in Assessment and Treatment Planning

Douglas I. Katz
1  Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
2  Encompass Health Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, Braintree, Massachusetts
,
1  Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
2  Encompass Health Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, Braintree, Massachusetts
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Neurorehabilitation aspires to restore a person to his or her fullest potential after incurring neurological dysfunction. In medical rehabilitation, diagnosis involves assessment of medical conditions and their effects on functioning. It is usually a team effort that involves an amalgam of diagnostic assessments by multiple disciplines, leading to a collection of rehabilitative treatment plans and goals. This article discusses a clinical neurological paradigm, using rigorous clinical assessment of neuropathological and clinical diagnosis, along with prognostication of natural history and recovery. In the context of the role of neuroplasticity in recovery, this paradigm can add significant value to rehabilitation team management and planning. It contributes to enhanced understanding of neurological impairments and syndromes as they relate to functional disability, aiding in targeting deficits and setting treatment goals. Rehabilitation strategies and goals should be informed by natural history and prognosis, and viewed in the framework of the stage of recovery. Prognostic formulations should suggest an emphasis on restorative versus compensatory strategies for functional problems. Treatment planning should be informed by evidence on how interventions modulate brain reorganization in promoting recovery. Strategies that promote adaptive neuroplasticity should be favored, especially with restorative efforts, and evidence supporting optimal techniques, timing, and dosing of rehabilitation should be considered in treatment planning.



Publication History

Publication Date:
04 March 2021 (online)

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