Neurological Rehabilitation Research Group

Multidisciplinary approach to neurological rehabilitation

The Neurological Rehabilitation Research Group (NRRG) conducts research addressing clinical issues faced by people with neurological health conditions, including falls, physical inactivity, and the efficacy of allied health interventions to improve rehabilitation outcomes.

About us

The Neurological Rehabilitation Research Group conducts research in people with neurological health conditions, including those who have experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease or facial nerve palsy.

Its research addresses important clinical issues including falls and fall prevention, physical inactivity, and understanding the relationship between impairment, activity limitation and participation restriction, as well as the efficacy of allied health interventions to improve rehabilitation outcomes. 

The team's reasearch has informed clinical guidelines, both nationally and internationally, and has been incorporated into university curriculums and clinical practice.

Our research

The NRRG has four key themes:

  1. Better understanding impairments sustained with neurological health conditions and testing interventions to address such impairments, reducing activity limitations and participation restrictions. 
  2. Taking leading roles in large multidisciplinary clinical trials likely to change rehabilitation management of people with neurological conditions. These include trials of technologies to improve mobility, fitness and strength training for people who have experienced stroke, Parkinson’s disease or traumatic brain injury, and treatments specifically designed to improve control and quality of the smile after long-term facial nerve injury.
  3. Developmenting and evaluationing interventions to reduce falls in people with neurological conditions, particularly Parkinson's disease.
  4. Investigating ways to increase opportunities and test interventions to increase physical activity in people with neurlogical health conditions, who are twice as likely not to meet recommended activity guidelines.

Research highlights

  • Managed by Dr Leanne Hassett, AMOUNT has been the largest trial internationally of tailored prescriptions of technology to increase physical activity and mobility in people receiving rehabilitation. It highlighted clinically important improvements in mobility and demonstrated the feasibility of a health coaching model to support technology-based rehabilitation post-hospitalisation.
  • Emeritus Professor Colleen Canning, Dr Natalie Allen and Dr Jooeun Song have formed a new collaborative project creating virtual reality solutions for managing freezing of gait in people with Parkinson's disease. A multidisciplinary project, the work is funded by the Charles Perkins Centre Active Aging Research Node seeding grant. Collaborators include Dr Naseem Ahmandpour of the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Professor Simon Lewis and Dr Kaylena Martens of the Brain and Mind Centre, and Associate Professor Hamish MacDougall of the School of Psychology
  • Dr Leanne Hassett attracted funding from The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 2017 for a trial to evaluate physical activity coaching for people with mobility limitations.
  • Professor Roberta Shepherd and Emeritus Professor Louise Ada received national and international awards in 2018 which recognised their contributions to science. Professor Shepherd was awarded Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and Emeritus Professor Ada was awarded an alumni award from Columbia University, NYC

Our People

The Neurological Rehabilitation Research Group is made up of seven current academics, four emeritus or honorary academics, five casual research and teaching staff, as well as 12 current Higher Degree Research (HDR) and honours students of NRRG members.

Project lead

Dr Leanne Hassett
View academic profile

Dr Leanne Hassett

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