Welcome to the NeuroRehabilitation Unit (NRU). My name is Professor Duncan Turner and I am the Director of the NRU. Our expertise is in Restorative Neuroscience and Rehabilitation. I hope you find the information helpful in choosing to become involved in our work.
Our vision is to employ state-of-the-art assistive technology to enhance recovery of functional movement, intricate sensory awareness and communicative skills following stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy. Feel free to see how we are achieving our mission and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The main thrust of our work involves using adaptive robotics, assistive technology and modern neuroimaging technologies in an innovative hub for their development within the NRU.
Together they offer an exciting insight into how clinical interventions impact on brain function. Pivotal to our approaches, is the fact that the brain is capable of a high degree of neuroplasticity throughout healthy development and ageing. Indeed, we are also interested in how to use indices of brain function to activate robots and computers when movement is not possible.
To take advantage of these technologies in answering our questions we:
- Undertake clinical trials with NHS and non-NHS partners in the NIHR Clinical Research Network for the North Thames Region and with partners across the EU.
- Participate as a research hub in the UCL Partners Centre for Neurorehabilitation and perform groundbreaking research with international collaborators.
- Offer knowledge exchange to develop products into clinical use with industry partners.
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Healthy Brain Function in Natural Ageing
Many of those individuals with these conditions can fulfill potential by benefitting from a more integrated use of cutting edge technology involving human-robot interactions and computer games which mimic real-life scenarios.
The aim of the NRU is to draw together research expertise from different academic / clinical specialties in rehabilitation medicine and science into an interdisciplnary, ground breaking force for change.
The NRU has expertise in neuroscience, psychology, engineering, rehabilitation medicine and allied health professions and works together with partners in the NHS and industry. This synergy signfiicantly speeds up the translation of state-of-the-art design of robotics and virtual reality into deliverable clinical trials and interventions.
The NRU can offer a “Test-Tube” approach to knowledge exchange to exploit new technological developments presently residing in the business and entrepreneurial community.
We are currently seeking funding to start a robot-therapy trial for adults with Parkinson's disease.
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and Brain-Robot interfaces
We are developing human-robot interfaces for improving communication in individuals with little or no movement capabilities.
The NRU is also developing research for improving quality of life in similar areas.
Research that counts
Presently, we have been studying predominantly upper limb function with these technologies but we also have undertaken research in lower limb function using gait biomechanics and cycling machines. Most recently, we have been studying the control of balance and posture during reaching whilst standing in a healthy ageing population.
The key publications strongly suggest that the important aspect of therapeutic robotic use is repetition, repetition, repetition and that the devices can be used as “just another piece of gym equipment” whether the gym is in a Stroke Unit of a hospital, in a community Leisure Centre or Neighbourhood Stroke Survivors Club.
We think these novel approaches will offer further benefit in our main health themes in order to improve quality of life to patients with CNS dysfunction as a result of spinal injury and cerebral palsy or when movement becomes increasingly more difficult such as in progressive neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease.
Our base is the fully accessible NeuroRehabilitation Unit hosted by the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, Stratford Campus, University of East London. Here is a map of how to get there from Stratford transportation hubs:
- Stratford Campus information including directions on getting here
- Stratford Campus Map