Computerized Cognitive Rehabilitation

In recent years, cognitive rehabilitation is shifting from paper-based to computer-based practice.

Computerization entails several advantages, among which the possibility for the patients to continue the rehabilitation at home, after their hospital stay, using the same set of exercises and the strategies learned during the hospitalization. It is particularly in this context that personalization and monitoring of exercises is very important, because the patient is alone, or with home caregivers, without a specialized therapist that could adjust the exercises and cope with his fatigue, boredom and consequent non-compliance.

We developed CoRe (COgnitive REhabilitation), a computerized system that combines a patient’s profile with a stimuli ontology to generate patient-specific exercises. The system also allows therapists to remotely prepare a personalized treatment plan and make it available to the patient’s workstation at home. Pictures and personal information related to the patient’s daily life can be provided by the subject's relatives, to be used within some exercises instead of generic stimuli (words, audio files and images), in order to increase the patient’s willingness to perform the exercises.

Sensors are also integrated into the system in order to monitor breath rate, heart rate and movements of the subject during the therapy sessions, with the aim of keeping the patient's status under constant control, preventing fatigue and possibly suggesting a pause, when needed.

 

Medical area:

Neurology: to this day only post-stroke patients have been chosen as target of the test phase, but the system is intended for use in rehabilitation of subjects affected by impairments of logical and executive brain functions in general.

Thanks to its modular structure, new types of exercises can also be easily added to the system, making it fit for rehabilitation of all types of cognitively impaired patients.

 

Tools: Visual Basic, E-Prime, Access (replaced by Java and MySQL in the new version, currently under development) Protégé, Excel

 

People working on this topic:

Supervisors: Silvana Quaglini

Collaborators: Anna Alloni, Silvia Panzarasa, Giorgio Leonardi

 

External Collaborations:

Giorgio Sandrini, Elena Sinforiani, Chiara Zucchella, IRCCS C. Mondino, Pavia;

Michelangelo Bartolo, Neuromed, Pozzilli (Isernia)