Neuro-engineering involves the use of the engineering tools and concepts to modulate the
functions of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system (Mascaro et. al., 2019). It aims
to provide new technologies that are engineering-oriented that can be used in the screening,
diagnosis, prognosis, rehabilitation as well as regeneration. Such technologies include deep brain
stimulation, brain-computer interface and cell replacement therapy. Several diseases affect the
nervous system of human beings prompting the development of an intervention that will be used
in the treatment of such conditions (Ambrosini, 2019). The importance of neuro-engineering is
the fact that it provides solutions to the mental health conditions that the people face in society.
Some of the mental diseases that require the treatment include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Rett
syndrome among others. The current study focuses on the use of neuro-engineering in
rehabilitating patients with stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Rett syndrome (Reinkensmeyer,
2019). Reinkensmeyer (2019) addresses the extent to which the research that involves neuro-
engineering and rehabilitation has evolved over the years and the impact that it had in the field of
medicine as well as the lives of the people as a whole. The technology has developed wearable
appliances that are used in the treatment of several diseases and provides the necessary training
and learning of the patient to ensure that they embraced their new condition. For instance, a
person that suffered a stroke in such a way that one part of his or her body has paralyzed will
have learn to embrace the new conditions as a way of ensuring that he or she enjoys life despite
the fact that he or she is facing a type of disability. Biofeedback mechanisms are important in the
process of rehabilitation despite the fact that they were not initially intended to carry out the
process (Lee, Thrasher, Fisher & Layne (2015). This study, therefore, shows the fact that some
mechanisms were not meant to be used in rehabilitation but they have proved to be very useful;
hence they are being applied frequently as away. The current paper, therefore, assesses the
importance of neuro-engineering in the field of medicine especially in the rehabilitation process
of patients that are facing challenges in their nervous system. The history of the brain-computer
interface included the use of the invasive devices, but the advancement of technology has
allowed the development of the non-invasive devices that enable the patients to interact with the
environment (Selfslagh et. al., 2019).
Review of the selected sources
The paper by Chaudhary, Birbaumer, & Ramos-Murguialday (2016) talks about the use of brain-
computer interfaces in patients suffering from chronic stroke. The authors in the paper explain
the use of the brain-computer interface whereby it uses the brain to control the external devices
enabling the paralyzed patients to interact with the environment. The authors discuss the
historical perspectives that are associated with the development of the human-computer
interfaces and the current noninvasive BCIs for communication in the patients with amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis as well as for the restoration of the motor impairment that has happened after a
stroke. The authors assess the distinct techniques that have been used including
electroencephalography (EEG) and the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) that are non-invasive
and are economical hence they can easily be used by the patients especially in the case where the
budget is low. The authors compare the mechanisms that were used for the treatment of the same
problem in the past compared to the methods that are currently used in the treatment of the
disease for the benefit of the patients and the caregivers. The techniques that were used in the
previous studies included communicating with patients using the locked-in state (LIS) using
EEG- as well as the use of invasive electrocorticography-BCI and intracortical recordings in the
case where the patients still exhibited a certain degree of residual eye control. However, such
techniques could not be used in the case where the patient has undergone complete paralysis. The
recent methodologies such as the use of NIRS-BCI and classical conditioning procedure has
been useful when communicating to patients that are completely paralyzed and it also helps them
to interact with the environment where they live according to Chaudhary, Birbaumer, & Ramos-
Murguialday (2016). The paper is a review of the research done about the topic in literature. The
paper is important in the current study because it addresses the important advancements that have
been done in when it comes to the treatment of brain conditions such as stroke. Its evidence that
the research is still ongoing and the results are forthcoming. According to the authors, the
techniques may play an important role in motor recovery in the body of the patients.
Hara (2013) conducted a study on the rehabilitation with functional electrical stimulation in
stroke patients. The author notes that the understanding on motor learning, neuroplasticity as
well as functional recovery after a stroke has grown significantly. The studies have made it
possible for researchers to study motor rehabilitation in patients. The author also echoes the
results of different studies that have shown that repeated motor activity and repeated motor
practice is important in the recovery of stroke patients. Electromyography (EMG) – triggered
electrical muscle stimulation, for instance, plays an important role in the improvement of the
function of the hemiparetic arm and hand. Hara (2013) reveals that it is effective to use triggered
electrical stimulation compared to non-triggered electric stimulation in the facilitation of the
upper extremity motor recovery in the patients that are recovering from a stroke because of the
former induces greater muscle contraction compared to the latter. According to the author Daily
EMG-controlled, FES home-program therapy with the novel equipment has played an important
role in improving the wrist, finger extension and shoulder flexion. The authors reviewed the
information in various sources that had been been recorded in literature with regards to the topic.
The paper is therefore, important in the current study because it shows how neuro-engineering is
being used in rehabilitation.
Lee et al. (2015) studied how the sensory augmentation affected weight shifting among patients
with Parkinson’s disease as well as in the healthy older people. The author brings up the
application of the biofeedback mechanisms in the rehabilitation process. The study evaluated the
effects of guidance modalities during the weight-shifting exercises that are used in clinical
settings. According to the results by the researchers, the combination of the vibrotactile and
visual biofeedback is important in improving volitional responses in the tracking of different
tasks. It can, therefore, be effectively used in the rehabilitation of the patients with Parkinson’s
disease. The researchers used a motion guidance sytem that provides visual feedback,
videotactile feedback or both during the weight shifting exercises. The researchers included 11
people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and nine healthy elderly people. Each participant wore a
six-degree-of-freedom inertial measurement unit (IMU) located near the sacrum and four linear
vibrating actuators (Tactors) attached to the skin over the front, back, and right and left sides of
the abdomen. The IMU was used in measuring the displacement and the velocities in the tyilts of
In the study by Lee et al., (2016), the researchers revisited the vibrotactile cuing with the
intention of revealing a possible challenge that is experienced in sensorimotor adaptation. They
note that the motor commands that are driving the ongoing activity have to be adjusted for the
motor responses to the unexpected phenomena to be successful or accurate. The researchers
found out that the cued responses were kinetically similar to the “adapted response" and did not
vary regardless of the cue lead time. The researchers noted that all the responses regardless of
whether they are cued or not, were an expression of a pre-existing motor program that is derived
from the experiences that the individual faces in his or her life on a day to day basis. The paper,
therefore, shows how prams can be designed to reflect the events that take place in the day to day
lives of the individuals and in so doing help in the rehabilitation of the patient with some
diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. In the experiment, the author quantified the the benefits of
cuing compared to those of learning induced by the abrupt stop of the side split of the treadmill
belt. Trip occurrence was randomized within a series of strides.
López-Larraz et al., (2018) assesses the brain-machine interfaces that are used in the
rehabilitation of stroke patients. The authors note that patients suffer motor paralysis after a
stroke which has devastating effects on the lives of the patients, the caregivers as well as the
people that love them in general. They note the fact that rehabilitation is effective but the use of
the traditional methods in the rehabilitation of the patients may fail to some extent prompting the
use of modern strategies such as brain-machine interfaces. The paper, therefore, addresses the
use of the brain-machine interface in the rehabilitation of stroke patients which is a concept of
neuro-engineering. The authors note that the use of BMI is still at its preliminary stages; hence
there is a need to carry more studies as a way of making it efficient in the rehabilitation of the
patients with stroke. The paper is a review of the brain-machine interfaces that are used in the
rehabilitation of stroke patients including the advancement that has been made in the field.
Reinkensmeyer (2019) conducted a study analyzing the state of neuro-engineering and
rehabilitation. The paper shows the evolution of neuro-engineering over a period of 15 years
based on the editor-in-chief of JNER and a researcher that is keen to study the field for the
benefit of the society in general. He also highlights the fact that many people rely on new
technologies. The author also addresses the future prospects of the field and its importance in the
lives of the people. Sitaram et al., (2019) addresses the use of new technologies such as
Functional connectivity (fcMRI) analyses in the assessment of the differences in the states of
consciousness among the people in the society. They address the use of the technologies in the
treatment of the disorders of consciousness in the lives of the people in the society. The two
studies named in this paragraph are, therefore, important in the current study because of the
important information that they provide. The researchers acquired the fMRI data from thirteen
patients that have wakefulness syndrome. Eight patients that took part in the research were in
in minimally conscious state and eleven healthy controls were acquired in rest and during the
application of nociceptive and emotional acoustic stimuli.
Neuroengineering is important in rehabilitation and making the patients feel better. Many
patients suffeer from mental diseases hence they need appropriate rehabilitation interventions
that will make them feel better. Some of the mental diseases that require the treatment include
stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome among others. The methods may include the use of
devices or the use of necessary therapies that are aimed at making the patient recover from the
health problem that he or she is suffering from. The use of such techniques is important in
Ambrosini, E., Peri, E., Nava, C., Longoni, L., Monticone, M., Pedrocchi, A., … & Ferrante, S.
(2019). A multimodal training with visual biofeedback in subacute stroke survivors: a
randomized controlled trial.
Chaudhary, U., Birbaumer, N., & Ramos-Murguialday, A. (2016). Brain-computer interfaces in
the completely locked-in state and chronic stroke. In Progress in brain research (Vol.
228, pp. 131-161). Elsevier.
Hara, Y. (2013). Rehabilitation with functional electrical stimulation in stroke patients. Int J
Phys Med Rehabil, 1(147), 2.
Lee, B. C., Thrasher, T. A., Fisher, S. P., & Layne, C. S. (2015). The effects of different sensory
augmentation on weight-shifting balance exercises in Parkinson’s disease and healthy
elderly people: a proof-of-concept study. Journal of neuroengineering and
rehabilitation, 12(1), 75.
Lee, B. C., Thrasher, T. A., Layne, C. S., & Martin, B. J. (2016). Vibrotactile cuing revisited to
reveal a possible challenge to sensorimotor adaptation. Experimental brain
research, 234(12), 3523-3530.
López-Larraz, E., Sarasola-Sanz, A., Irastorza-Landa, N., Birbaumer, N., & Ramos-
Murguialday, A. (2018). Brain-machine interfaces for rehabilitation in stroke: A
review. NeuroRehabilitation, 43(1), 77-97.
Mascaro, A. L. A., Conti, E., Lai, S., Di Giovanna, A. P., Spalletti, C., Alia, C., … & Caleo, M.
(2019). Rehabilitation promotes the recovery of structural and functional features of
healthy neuronal networks after stroke. bioRxiv, 582775.
Reinkensmeyer, D. J. (2019). JNER at 15 years: analysis of the state of neuroengineering and
rehabilitation. Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, 16(1), 1-9.
Selfslagh, A., Shokur, S., Campos, D. S., Donati, A. R., Almeida, S., Yamauti, S. Y., … &
Nicolelis, M. A. (2019). Author correction: non-invasive, Brain-controlled functional
electrical Stimulation for Locomotion Rehabilitation in individuals with
paraplegia. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1-1.
Sitaram, R., Yu, T., Halsband, U., Vogel, D., Müller, F., Lang, S., … & Kotchoubey, B. (2019).
Spatial characteristics of spontaneous and stimulus-induced individual functional
connectivity networks in severe disorders of consciousness. Brain and cognition, 131, 10-