Strategic Research

Institut Universitari de Neurorehabilitació Guttmann

As an R+d+i center, Institut Guttmann aims to generate and transmit new knowledge and continuous innovation in techniques, procedures and technologies specific to its field of scientific knowledge and to neuroscience in general. This is addressed by promoting a network of cooperation open the participation of other centers of excellence, universities, research institutes, companies and organizations, both national and international, combining their efforts in order to improve prevention and results in the treatment of diseases that affect the central nervous system. This is approached through 9 established strategic programmes in Translational Research:

  • P1- Bioengineering and robotics applied to functional improvement.
  • P2 - Neuroreparation and advanced therapies.
  • P3 - Neuropsychological rehabilitation and cognitive stimulation.
  • P4 - Brain Health (Barcelona Brain Health Initiative).
  • P5 - Noninvasive brain stimulation.
  • P6 - Comprehensive personalized neurorehabilitation.
  • P7 - Disability and social innovation
  • P8 - Neuroscience and Neural Plasticity.
  • P9 - Pharmacological interventions in Neurorehabilitation.

Main projects

  • 1.

    PERSSILAA PERsonalised ICT Supported Service for Independent Living and Active Ageing

    Maintaining the functional capacity of the nervous system throughout the whole life span of a human being is one of the grand challenges of biomedical research in the XXI century. PERSSILAA develops and validates a new service model, to screen for and prevent frailty in community dwelling older adults, integrating nutrition, physical and cognitive function. PERSSILAA develops remote service modules for screening, monitoring and training. It realizes a technical service infrastructure to support these multiple services and users in an efficient, reliable, easy to use way and therefore works on gamification, interoperability and clinical decision support. PERSSILAA builds on activities within European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Aging and on results of various earlier European projects. There is continuous end user involvement and evaluation with 350 older adults in real implementation environments in Enschede (the Netherlands) and Campania region (Italy) to ensure increasing system efficiency and easy end user acceptance. FP7 - Grant agreement no: 610359

  • 2.

    COGNITIO: Multiparametric analysis of image, clinical data and therapy for the optimization of cognitive rehabilitation on TBI

    Currently, there is a lack of knowledge regarding Acquired Brain Injuried (ABI) patients' disability profiles (cognitive or structural) and the combination of therapeutic tasks that optimize their treatment's effectiveness. This is partly because (conversely to other medical specialties), it is not possible to link symptoms and cognitive disorder syndromes, to assist the therapist. Moreover, the relationship between positive results in tasks and the degree of cognitive function improvement is yet unknown. In this context, the main goal of this research project is to foster knowledge in the following scientific and technological areas: 1. Physio-pathological mechanisms involved in ABI cognitive rehabilitation. 2. Neuro-image processing techniques for the classification and categorization of ABI-based structural lesions. 3. Automatic learning techniques for real-time and personalized therapies 4. Knowledge inference, data mining and multi-parametric analysis applied to clinical data for therapeutic treatment optimization. Clinical results of the methods and technologies, as well as the multi-parametric analysis of image studies and therapeutic/ clinical patient data, will enable to generate neuro-psychological, structural/neurological and dysfunctional disability profiles that will be used to identify therapeutic hypotheses as a result of personalized interventional therapies. Grant Nr TIN2012-38450-C03-02 – Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad SUPROGRAMA DE PROYECTOS DE INVESTIGACIÓN FUNDAMENTAL NO ORIENTADA Tecnologías Informáticas, subprograma de Tecnología de Sistemas para la Sociedad de la Información (TSI).

  • 3.

    CERMOD Non-invasive electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord to facilitate arm and hand functional recovery in incomplete traumatic cervical spinal cord injured patients.

    Manual dexterity is indispensable for carrying out the vast majority of our normal daily activities, ranging from object manipulation to nonverbal communication. Damage to the connectome controlling the upper extremities inflicts devastating consequences as a patient’s lifestyle becomes dependent on supportive devices, which drastically reduce their freedom to move. Due to the lack of reliable treatments, the impairments associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) persist over a lifetime, and from all the physio-pathological symptoms developed following a cervical SCI, patients have highlighted a high priority for finding therapies to restore arm/hand function among others. In the present set of studies, we will develop a “bottom to top” approach employing animal models and human testing to determine whether or not non-invasive neuromodulation of the cervical spinal cord can facilitate functional recovery of the arm and hand, by enhancing transmission along the residual brain-to-spinal connectome. The proposal follows a multi-disciplinary and translational approach and has three main objectives: 1 Optimize the stimulation parameters for efficiently modulating the spinal cord to facilitate skilled hand function recovery. 2 Decipher the cellular and physiological mechanisms underlying the plasticity induced by the non-invasive electrical stimulation using animal models. 3 Determine whether transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord facilitates arm and hand function recovery in patients with incomplete traumatic cervical spinal cord injury. ERA-NET NEURON European Research Projects on External Insults to the Nervous System


Bioinformatics expertise:

Group Leader:

Josep María Tormos

Bioinformatics services offered

  • QVidLab

    Institut Guttmann is a specialized hospital in the medical and surgical treatment and comprehensive rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury or other neurological disabilities. It is organized by functional units and clinical rehabilitation programmes, providing a number of specific clinical procedures and services supporting for significant quantitative and qualitative health indicators and quality of life outcomes. The Qvidlab laboratory for enhancing measures of autonomy, personal satisfaction and quality of life of people with spinal cord injury and acquired brain injury is an instrument of applied clinical research conducted in Institut Guttmann for studying a set of biological, psychological and social factors that concur, either in the short, medium and long term. It is built on top of the complete EHR (20.000 health records) that integrates all relevant patient information, including structural damage, functional impairment, systematic, comprehensive assessments at patient’s admission, discharge and periodic follow-ups performed since 1992. By means of the application of statistical and automatic learning techniques, QVidLab aims to characterize specific cohorts, identify relevant attributes, determine main groups from the population study, establish correlations and create predictive models. Institut Guttmann integrates the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a framework for describing and organizing information on functioning and disability. It provides scientific basis and establishes a common standard for understanding and studying health and health-related states, outcomes, determinants, and changes in health status and functioning