Neurocognitive benefits of physiotherapy for spinal cord injury

18 dicembre 2018
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Authors:

Scandola MDodoni LLazzeri GArcangeli CAAvesani RMoro VIonta S.

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts the brain-body input-output exchange and modifies the mental representation of disconnected body parts, with decreased reliance on sensorimotor aspects of body representation and increased weighting of visuospatial ones. We hypothesized that physiotherapy-related benefits might extend to the re-establishment of the typical interplay between these two types of strategies. To test this hypothesis, we asked 42 participants (21 individuals pre- and post-physiotherapy, plus 21 controls) to perform mental rotation of corporal images (a cognitive task than can activate one or the other strategy). Results showed that only after physiotherapy the individuals with SCI showed the sensorimotor “bio-mechanical effect” (orientation-dependent modulation of response times) for the mental rotation of foot images (absent in pre-physiotherapy). This highlights that body representation is adaptable to contingent conditions, in that the reliance on sensorimotor or visuospatial strategies can be altered and, at least partially, restored as a function of physiotherapy.

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We are validating a new pain scale which discriminates among muscolo-skeletal, neuropathic and visceral pain in spinal cord injury patients.

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Books and Monographs

Il test di coordinazione motoria di Charlop-Atwell: la standardizzazione italiana.
Colella R, Quadri G, Boscaini F, Moro V, Albaret JM, 2014

Tornare a scuola dopo una grave cerebrolesione Moro Valentina, Rodolfi Chiara, 2012

La plasticità cerebrale. Alle radici del cambiamento
Moro Valentina, Filippi Barbara, 2010

L'agire educativo nella riabilitazione neuropsicologica
Moro Valentina, 2005

Valentina Moro and Riccardo Sartori are directors for the SEID editor of the series "Strumenti in Psicologia, Educazione e Formazione" [Tools in Psychology, Education and Training].
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