Elective course - Brain plasticity and neurorehabilitation

Course content

Brain plasticity and neurorehabilitation:
Recent years have been in the light of great advances regarding our understanding of the brain and the way it is being formed and shaped during the entire life. This course will explore the current knowledge about brain plasticity together with its potentials and limitations. We will discuss the mechanisms of brain plasticity across life span, learning and experiential influences, normal and pathological aging of the brain, as well as neuroprotection and brain repair. The implications of brain plasticity for the rehabilitation treatment of brain disease (such as acquired brain injury and neurodegenerative conditions) will form the common thread during the entire course. We will search answers for questions like ‘What does it take to change the structure of the brain and what is the evidence?’ ‘Can brain plasticity be supported by other means, such as exercise and pharmacology’, ‘Is the change in neural networks always paralleled by changes in behaviour?, and ‘How do we implement research findings into clinical practice?’. The course is built around knowledge from basic, pre-clinical and applied, clinical research with special focus on cognitive and social functions. It will emphasize converging evidence and aspects determining the translation of knowledge from bench to bedside.

Learning outcome

The students will be able to describe and account for selected mechanisms of brain plasticity. They will be able to explain and determine which factors influence the plastic reorganization of the brain. The will be able to describe mechanisms of changes related to brain injury and under supervision analyze approaches that are offered to overcome the functional consequences of brain injury. They will be able to discuss relevant themes from rehabilitation of neurological conditions and able to interpret data derived from relevant cases of neurological disease. They will be able to describe and account for the methodology and identify challenges that characterize the field of brain injury and rehabilitation. They will be able to discuss why research knowledge does not always disseminate into the clinical practice.

14 weeks

The course comprises both lectures and open discussions with the students as well as group work and presentations held by the students. In the group work, the students will be required to answer pre-specified questions. The group work will be required in at least 50 % of the classes. The student presentations will be based on a self-chosen course-relevant topic that is approved by the teacher.

Type of assessment
Written assignment
The students are expected to submit a written assignment by the end of the course. This assignment is to be formulated as a research proposal related to a relevant topic of this course.
The exam can only be taken individually.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28