Moving rehabilitation research forward: Developing consensus statements for rehabilitation and recovery research
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Stroke recovery is the next frontier in stroke medicine. While growth in rehabilitation and recovery research is exponential, a number of barriers hamper our ability to rapidly progress the field. Standardized terminology is absent in both animal and human research, methods are poorly described, recovery biomarkers are not well defined, and we lack consistent timeframes or measures to examine outcomes. Agreed methods and conventions for developing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting interventions directed at improving recovery are lacking, and current approaches are often not underpinned by biology. We urgently need to better understand the biology of recovery and its time course in both animals and humans to translate evidence from basic science into clinical trials. A new international partnership of stroke recovery and rehabilitation experts has committed to advancing the research agenda. In May 2016, the first Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Roundtable will be held, with the aim of achieving an agreed approach to the development, conduct and reporting of research. A range of methods will be used to achieve consensus in four priority areas: preclinical recovery research; biomarkers of recovery; intervention development, monitoring and reporting; and measurement in clinical trials. We hope to foster a global network of researchers committed to advancing this exciting field. Recovery from stroke is challenging for many survivors. They deserve effective treatments underpinned by our evolving understanding of brain recovery and human behaviour. Working together, we can develop game-changing interventions to improve recovery and quality of life in those living with stroke.
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