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Date: 16/06/2017

Facial paralysis image processing software is awarded a grant by the Academy of Medical Sciences


Researchers from the Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Department of  Bellvitge University Hospital - Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (HUB-IDIBELL) have been awarded the VI basic research in physiotherapy grant from the Catalan-Balearic Physiotherapy Society, which will allow them to partially fund the clinical validation of a imaging software prototype designed as a facial neuromuscular therapy in patients with peripheral facial paralysis. In the near future, this software could be integrated into rehabilitation services or even be used by patients as home therapy.

 

Facial expression is the first form of non-verbal communication. Facial palsy not only limits the ability to show emotions, but can also produce functional deficits such as the ability to close the eyes, eat and talk. In many patients, this issue is associated with a lowered self-esteem, since faces usually act like a business card and facial asymmetry makes people not recognize themselves.

 

The main objectives of facial rehabilitation are recovering the "identity role" of the patient's face and its functionality when it comes to daily activities. That is why it is necessary to coverall aspects: motor, sensitive, cognitive and emotional, in order to reach recovery.

 

The HUB Rehabilitation Service it suggested using a therapy that was previously not used for these cases, called "the mirror therapy". It is a technique known since the 1990s and initially aimed to the treatment of phantom limb pain in amputees. It is believed that the adaptation of this technique with the new technologies, in a software version, can be beneficial and accelerat recovery.

 

Physiotherapists Nuria Montesinos Montesinos (principal investigator), Raquel Oller Domingo, Anna Mauri Aranda and Anna Justes Solé, and the rehabilitation doctors Josefina Junyent Parés and Marta Gómez Cuba are part of this project.





foto The awarded researchers (Dr. Montesinos in the middle)
The awarded researchers (Dr. Montesinos in the middle)

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© 2017 Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge



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