Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimising Motor Performance.
Author: Claydon, Leica Sarah
Pub Date: 07/01/2011
Publication: Name: New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy Publisher: New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists ISSN: 0303-7193
Issue: Date: July, 2011 Source Volume: 39 Source Issue: 2
Accession Number: 288537997
Full Text: Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimising Motor Performance. Janet H Carr, Roberta B Shepherd. Churchill Livingstone 2010 (2nd Edition). ISBN: 0702044687. Soft cover (with online supplement), 376 pages. RRP: $164.99

Janet Carr and Roberta Shepherd, prominent researchers in the area of neurological physiotherapy have written the second edition of this text. This book describes activity and exercise based rehabilitation methods to facilitate neural plasticity and increase muscle strength, endurance, and aerobic fitness. This book is full of evidence-based treatment ideas making it, in my opinion, a 'must' for both undergraduate physiotherapy students and therapists working in neurological rehabilitation.

The book is divided into three parts 1) Introduction: adaptation, training and measurement 2) Task-related exercise and training 3) Body function and structure, limitations in activities and participation. Part One reviews pertinent literature in the areas of neuroscience, biomechanics, strength and fitness training programmes, and motor skill and learning supporting the philosophy of intensive task-specific practice. Within Part One, the chapter covering measurement outlines key outcome measures, categorized using levels of the International Classification of Function making it a useful reference. Part Two includes the chapters covering standing up and sitting down, walking, reaching and manipulation, and balance. Each of these chapters provides the biomechanics and kinematics of the activity (which serve as a useful refresher), common motor limitations and adaptations, training guidelines, and measurement tools appropriate for the activity. Succinct summaries are provided in boxes which permit the reader to grasp the key points. Photographs highlight key activity limitations and treatment ideas. Part Three includes chapters on body structure and function (cerebellar ataxia, somatosensory and perceptual-cognitive impairments) and health conditions (upper motor neuron lesions, stroke, traumatic brain injury, parkinsons disease, and multiple sclerosis). Most of the chapters in part three are written with Australian contributors who are research active and have clinical practice skills in these areas. These chapters draw attention to important issues associated with each health condition providing a context for rehabilitation. They also highlight current research which adds to the debate surrounding these rehabilitation issues.

What is really exciting about this book is that it provides evidence-based ways of altering the environment and the activity itself to make task-specific practice achievable for people with various health conditions, levels of activity, and issues with body structure and function. This edition of the text sees newer rehabilitation approaches that provide further opportunity for practice as mainly supplementary techniques to task-specific training (such as, treadmill training with and without body weight support, robotic and non-robotic training devices, and virtual reality). Given the comprehensive nature of this text and the task-specific nature of motor learning, a chapter on bed mobility activities (e.g. rolling and lying to sitting) is lacking. The role of aids and orthoses is also worthy of further attention given the need for practice of gait (especially if therapists do not have access to treadmill training with body weight support). Nevertheless, this book is a fantastic resource and is highly recommended. The main reason for this recommendation is because the authors draw on different disciplines of evidence (musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiovascular) to provide a strong rationale for rehabilitation approach in an easy to read way.

Leica Sarah Claydon BSc (Hons), PhD

Lecturer, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.