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Research Article  |   July 1996
The Historical Development of Neuroscience in Physical Rehabilitation
Author Affiliations
  • Helen Cohen, EdD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030
  • Kathlyn L. Reed, PhD, MLIS, OTR, FAOTA, is Information Services/Education Librarian, Houston Academy of Medicine/Texas Medical Center Library; Adjunct Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University; and Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Research
Research Article   |   July 1996
The Historical Development of Neuroscience in Physical Rehabilitation
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1996, Vol. 50, 561-568. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.7.561
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1996, Vol. 50, 561-568. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.7.561
Abstract

Neuroscience and occupational therapy in physical rehabilitation have developed along parallel tracks. As physicians began to study the neural bases of motor control, they also began to reconsider the sequelae of “hopeless” diagnoses as conditions that they could influence. This change in some phyicians’ understanding of the neural mechanisms of motor control influenced other clinicians’ ideas about patient care. Early work on treatment of patients with cerebral palsy and polio led to improvements in treatment approaches used to facilitate motor skill and functional motor ability in patients with upper motor neuron disorders. From the 1950s to the present, therapists have refined their treatment techniques as knowledge from neuroscience has become available. A few therapists, who are gradually increasing in number, have turned to the laboratory to study basic neuroscience problems that affect clinical treatment. This article describes the development of neuroscience research and neurorehabilitation theories and indicates common themes.