Neurocontrol

Neurocontrol - exploiting neuroplasticity is the key towards the development of innovative tools for treatment and prevention of disabilities caused by chronic neurological diseases

Currently, therapeutic options for stroke, Parkinson’s disease and neuropathic pain syndromes are sparse, not evidence-based but based on general concepts. This results in unnecessary long-lasting disability and loss of autonomy. This is in sharp contrast to one of the most important insights of the last decades that the human brain is highly flexible and can change function. This adaptive capacity of the human nervous system is called neuroplasticity.

NeuroControl focuses on exploiting neuroplasticity as the key towards the development of innovative tools for treatment and prevention of disabilities caused by chronic neurological diseases. To exploit neuroplasticity, novel diagnostic and therapeutic means will be developed by matching control-engineering with neuroscience, signal-processing with neurology, and robotics with rehabilitation medicine.

Projects:

Neuromodulation by Continuous and Integrated Monitoring and Treatment; Influence the road from nerve to brain

The NeuroCIMT programme aims to develop novel ways of monitoring and treating neurological diseases and sensory impairments through quantitative models of the brain, e.g. by using EEG recordings. Each of the eight projects is aimed at delivering a proof of concept or prototype for clinical applicati … Lees meer

Profits

With increasing socioeconomic burden of stroke, the need for an efficient rehabilitation process increases. Novel therapeutic paradigms that aim to enhance functional recovery are being developed rapidly. Yet, the time to market is often long with painstakingly slow trajectories to obtain clinical e … Lees meer

Technical leader:
Prof. Dr. F.C.T. van der Helm

Frans van der Helm has a MSc in Human Movement Science (1985), and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (1991). He was member of the board of the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB, 2005-2009), and participates in the board of the Technical Group of Computer Simulation (TGCS) and the International Shoulder Group (ISG). He is Principal Investigator in the TREND research consortium (11.7 M€), which focus on patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as a neurological disorder. He is program director of the NeuroSIPE (System Identification and Parameter Estimation of Neurophysiological Systems) program (5.25 M€), funded by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research.

Prof. van der Helm has developed the Delft Shoulder and Elbow Model, still worldwide the most advanced 3D musculoskeletal model of the upper extremity. He applied control engineering techniques on human neuromuscular control, resulting in diagnostic robots for system identification of reflexive feedback. He has designed haptic interfaces, rehabilitation robots and humanoid robots, based on his extensive knowledge of the neuromuscular system. He has published over 100 papers in international journals on topics as biomechanics of the upper and lower extremity, neuromuscular control, eye biomechanics, pelvic floor biomechanics, human motion control, posture stability, haptic control and humanoid robots.

Medical leader:
Prof. Dr. C.G.M. Meskers

Carel Meskers is a medical doctor who obtained his PhD on the assessment of shoulder disorders introducing engineering concepts into clinical practice. After his training in physical medicine and rehabilitation in Amsterdam he became a consulting specialist in rehabilitation medicine at Leiden University Medical Center. Since 2014 he is consulting specialist in neurorehabilitation at VU Medical Center, Amsterdam and medical director of the Innovative Medical Devices Initiative (IMDI) consortium "Neurocontrol": a close collaboration between medical doctors, engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to facilitate healthcare sustainability. Carel Meskers specializes in assessment and treatment of motor disorders in patients with upper motor neuron diseases. His research focuses on the understanding of neuromechanical changes as a linking pin between motor, sensory and higher brain function to reduce impairment. He is PI and co- PI of several key research projects such as PROFITS (Precision profiling to improve long-term outcome after stroke), EXPLORE- stroke (Exploring Plasticity after stroke, www.hersenstichting.nl), EXPLICIT (Explaining Plasticity after stroke, www.explicit-stroke.nl), BALROOM (Balance Test Room, www.neurosipe.nl), NeurAS (NEURoControl- Assessment and Stimulation, www.medicaldelta.nl) and ROBIN (ROBot aided system Identification: novel tools for diagnosis and assessment in Neurological rehabilitation, www.neurosipe.nl). He holds a fellowship from the Dutch Brain Foundation (Hersenstichting).