Add up to two Lecture Luncheons to your registration and earn an hour of continuing education credit for each. These popular events keep the education coming while you enjoy a sit-down meal and connect with colleagues who share your interests.
Interacting With the Human Brain: How can we Stimulate Positive Neuroplasticity?
Lara A. Boyd, PT, PhD
University of British Columbia
Lynne Gauthier, PhD
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Recent work demonstrates that the human brain is remarkably neuroplastic. The ability to change, neuroplasticity, enables all learning. To support learning, the brain changes its chemical composition, structure and function. These changes occur at different time scales and in varied combinations. Given that neuroplastic change is happening constantly throughout our life, it is critical that we understand how to both stimulate and harness this capacity for improved behavior. Importantly the most significant driver of change in the human brain is behaviour. Neuroplasticity can be either positive (eg. learning) or negative (eg. chronic pain). Work from my group and others shows that different behaviors/interventions can be paired with skilled motor practice drive neuroplasticity. These include: exercise, brain stimulation, and robotics (among others). We have shown that engaging in a short bout of high intensity aerobic exercise changes patterns of cortical excitability, brain function and stimulates motor memory consolidation, enabling significantly faster learning. Similarly, non-invasive brain stimulation can alter cortical excitability and enhance learning when it is paired with skilled practice; yet the effects of this intervention are highly varied from person to person. One issue that plagues motor learning is the need for very high doses of practice. Work with robotic and video-gaming interventions may offer a method by which this issue can be remediated. This symposium will consider each of these topics. It will focus on how neuroplasticity operates in the human brain and present recent research illustrating what behaviours best stimulate positive change. It will also offer ideas as to how change may be more effectively mapped during practice. This information may be used to advance recovery from brain damage or stimulate learning in healthy brains.
- Describe the neurobiology of plasticity in the human brain
- Describe how sensory and motor systems interact during learning
- Describe how exercise, brain stimulation, and robotics can stimulate positive neuroplasticity
- Understand how brain damage impacts neuroplastic change
- Consider what behaviors affect neuroplasticity after brain damage
About the Presenters
Dr. Lara Boyd is a Neuroscientist and Physical Therapist at the University of British Columbia. She is a professor and has held a Canada Research Chair, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Career Scientist award and been a Peter Wall Scholar. Dr. Boyd directs the Brain Behaviour Lab at the University of British Columbia. Her work is centered on answering the question of what limits, and what facilitates, neuroplasticity. Dr. Boyd also serves as the Health Research Advisor to the Vice President for Research and is the university’s delegate to the Canadians Institutes of Health Research. Her TEDx talk “After this your brain will not be the same” has over 25 million views.
Frailty: A Common Theme and Opportunity in Multiple Sclerosis and Geriatric Rehabilitation
Jonathan F. Bean, MD, MPH
Harvard Medical School
Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM
Director MS Research
Mark A. Hirsch, PhD, FACRM
Carolinas Rehabilitation/ Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Patricia C. Heyn, PhD, FGSA, FACRM
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Michele K. York, PhD, ABPP-CN
Associate Professor, Section Head, Neuropsychology
Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine
Emily Nalder, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.)
University of Toronto, Department of Occupational Science and Occupation Therapy
The Neurodegenerative Diseases and Geriatric Rehabilitation Networking Group are excited to invite you to our 2020 ACRM Lecture Luncheon Symposium titled: Frailty: A common theme and opportunity in multiple sclerosis and geriatric rehabilitation. Dr. Jonathan Bean will summarize the preeminent conceptual models of frailty within geriatric care and how they relate to conceptual models of disablement guiding rehabilitative care. Evidence for exercise and new opportunities for innovations in rehabilitative care and research targeting frailty outcomes will be identified. Dr. Deborah Backus will discuss variables associated with risk of frailty in people with MS and suggest evidence-based approaches to preventing this slow and steady decline in function in people with MS, the role of exercise and rehabilitation strategies for optimizing health and function in people with MS, with specific focus on the meaningfulness of a trial evaluating comparative effectiveness of modes of delivery of an exercise program for people with MS.
- Define frailty and discuss how these concepts overlap or diverge in the multiple sclerosis (MS) and geriatric populations
- Discuss the rationale and importance for considering frailty and progressive functional decline in rehabilitation of people who are aging and/or are experiencing progression of disability due to MS
- Describe the opportunities for rehabilitation medicine to improve care and prevent or slow frailty and progressive dwindling in the MS and geriatric populations
About the Presenters
Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM is a grant-funded investigator, physical therapist, and educator with 30+ years of experience in the neurorehabilitation field. Her mission is to empower patients, students and colleagues to achieve their greatest potential, and to advance rehabilitation science and care. As Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Backus’s research activities have a broad scope that includes facilitating pharmacologic and device-related clinical trials for multiple sclerosis (MS). Her specific research agenda focuses on investigation of models of care and rehabilitation interventions to facilitate greater function, health and quality of life in people with MS. At Shepherd she has been instrumental in facilitating clinician involvement in research activities, translation of evidence into practice, uptake of technology into clinical programs, and incorporating standardized outcome assessment into routine clinical practice to better guide clinical care. Dr. Backus is currently PI for one of the largest PCORI-funded trials in MS evaluating the comparative effectiveness of an evidence based exercise program delivered in a facility or in the home. She has also received funding from the National MS Society, NIH and NIDILRR. Dr. Backus currently serves as one of the founding editors for the Archives of Rehabilitation Research & Clinical Translation and is Past President of the ACRM (www.acrm.org), both of which serve the rehabilitation community to empower people with disability to live full and healthy lives.