Bringing High-Dose Neurorestorative Behavioral Training into the Acute Stroke Unit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stroke remains common and is a leading cause of adult disability. While there have been enormous system changes for the diagnosis and delivery of hyperacute stroke treatments at comprehensive stroke centers, few advances have been made in those same centers for treatments focused on behavioral recovery and brain repair. Specifically, during the early hospital period, there is a paucity of approaches available for reduction of impairment beyond what is expected from spontaneous biological recovery. Thus, patients in the early stroke recovery period are not receiving the kind of training needed, at the requisite intensity and dose, to exploit a potential critical period of heightened brain plasticity that could maximize true recovery instead of just compensation. Here, we describe an ongoing pilot program to reconfigure the acute stroke unit experience to allow for a new emphasis on brain repair. More specifically, we have introduced a novel room-based video-gaming intervention; restorative neuroanimation, into the acute stroke hospital setting. This new intervention provides the opportunity for an extra hour(s) of high-intensity neurorestorative behavioral treatment that is complementary to conventional rehabilitation. To accomplish this, system redesign was required to insert this new treatment into the patient day, to properly stratify patients behaviorally and physiologically for the treatment, to optimize the digital therapeutic approach itself, and to maintain the impairment reduction after discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S33-S37
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • Acute Stroke
  • Brain Repair
  • Hospital Care
  • Neurorestorative Gaming
  • Stroke Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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