The desirable involvement of academia in neurorehabilitation: A systems approach with private/public co-operation; a Swedish model

The desirable involvement of academia in neurorehabilitation: A systems approach with private/public co-operation; a Swedish model

Dr Ake Seiger

Sunday, 15 Rajab 1439 AH -1 April 2018 AD 9:00-9:30 am Address (Main Auditorium – Round Auditorium)

Dr Åke Seiger

Senior Professor

Karolina Institutet


Senior Professor at Karolinska Institutet. Life-long interest in neurodegeneration, neural repair and neurorehabilitation. Leadership in establishing and developing knowledge applicable for individuals with neurological injuries and ailments.
Research interest spanning from stem cell transplantation to quality of life and life-long perspectives in societal re-entry for the afflicted individuals and societal systems for its responsibilities. 68 years, married, 7 children, resident in Stockholm. Extracurricular interests: culture, history, sports.

The desirable involvement of academia in neurorehabilitation: A systems approach with private/public co-operation; a Swedish model

 The field of neurorehabilitation is going through a rapid transformation. Only a couple of decades ago the primary goal after a neurological injury or ailment was to judge carefully the realistic prognosis for continued life and level of independence and leave further societal efforts to standardized programs. Now the situation is much more complex but in a largely positive way. The knowledge base and thereby arsenal of correcting and/or compensating efforts by the health care system as well as the individual expectation by the patients themselves to significantly more take part and even be responsible for the highly individualized rehabilitation has changed the field in a non-reversible way. Even in cases with extensive and functionally irreversible neurological deficits, expectations of return to a decent life situation in society with significant level of independence is emerging. On this happy note, the demands on the neurorehabilitation institutions may be challenging.
More financial resources may both be requested and deemed cost-effective in the perspective of quality of life. Requests for both housing accommodation and work-place adaptation may meet ignorance in society or at least reluctance to change.  Life-long follow up to prohibit late health complications creates a wish for systematic programs with re-rehab and thereby additional resources. The possibility to live a family life during the often decades of continued life-expectancy includes both ethical, existential and practical issues. Many potentially threatening medical complications can now be monitored to minimize further health-care consumption and social strain.
In this time of rapidly changing perspectives for neurorehabilitation, evidence-based care is the only serious option. The previously relatively limited research in this area is expanding and step by step offers research results to guide the health care organizations of direction.  The continuous and intimate dialogue between the health care (private and public alike) and academic research specifically for and on the neurorehabilitation patients is an important strategy forward.
In the urban region of Stockholm a systematic approach to that effect has been developed including the Medical University, the University hospital and a number of public and private, commercial as well as non-profit organizations to work in consort. Significant achievements have been reached and the near future will show to what extent this systems approach may be applicable also elsewhere. The presentation will show a manifold of examples where academic involvement in development of neurorehabilitative care programs are in effect.