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Early diagnosis of neurological disorders and technology in rehabilitation by action observation training (AOT)

Grant number: 22/15215-1
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: November 20, 2023 - December 01, 2023
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Eloisa Tudella
Grantee:Eloisa Tudella
Visiting researcher: Giuseppina Sgandurra
Visiting researcher institution: Università di Pisa, Italy
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Dr. Giuseppina Sgandurra is responsible for the INNOVATivE technologies in the neurorehabilitation laboratory (INNOVATE lab). She is a child neuropsychiatrist with strong expertise in designing new clinical and technological approaches to diagnosing and treating infants and children with motor development disorders and in customizing exercises in telerehabilitation training. She is a Senior Research Fellow of several national and international research projects and a Clinical Project Manager. Dr. Giuseppina Sgandurra has a vast list of works published in high-impact journals. Her studies are mainly based on childhood and the use of technology for early diagnosis and rehabilitation of children with neuromotor disorders. This has been providing important evidence for rehabilitation, more specifically in terms of access to highly sensitive and specific tools for detecting neuromotor disorders and rehabilitation of the functionality of children with disabilities. Through feasibility studies, she has written important clinical trials using technology applied to early intervention and environmental enrichment of infants (Caretoy Project), and children (use of the Virtual Reality Rehabilitation System). Her articles were pioneers in testing the effects of telehealth and the use of technology in the rehabilitation of infants and children diagnosed with neuromotor disorders, which are, therefore very important during social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, she works by testing the psychometric properties of easily accessible assessment scales used for the early diagnosis of cerebral palsy, such as the Infant Motor Profile (IMP). The group of Professor Dr. Giuseppina Sgandurra wrote an essential article for the field of study, which deals with the predictive validity of the IMP to detect cerebral palsy. Thus, it was observed that the evaluation of the total PDI score has greater diagnostic accuracy at 5 months (AUC 0.92). For an ideal IMP Total Score cutoff value of 70, the assessment shows high sensitivity (93%) and specificity (81%) (PPV 84%; NPV 90%) (RIZZI et al. 2021). In this way, the researcher will be important to contribute to the regular project, funded by FAPESP to translate and collect normative data using the IMP tool (FAPESP process number: 2020/14904-2). In addition, the researcher published a recent study in partnership with the Núcleo de Estudos em Neuropediatria e Motricidade (NENEM), coordinated by Profa. Dr. Eloisa Tudella, regarding parental and environmental factors of Brazilian and Italian infants. The article was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, FI 4.79 (2021). Research project funded by FAPESP (DD process nº 2018/24930-0; BEPE process nº 2020/11267-1).Currently, NENEM aims at early diagnosis in its research projects (1 regular project, 3 doctoral projects, and 2 master's projects), and rehabilitation through the use of technology (1 doctoral work). In this way, the researcher will be able to effectively contribute to all these works that are being developed and in future works that may arise from this partnership that will be signed through the visit. The objectives of your visit to Brazil are:Deepen the theoretical basis and treatment of data from projects with an already established partnership; Conduct training and qualification of graduate students for the application in Brazil of tools for early diagnosis of neuromotor disorders; and technology instruments applied to rehabilitation, such as Action Observation Training; Conduct lectures on methodological designs; Participate in the PhD defense panel of student Carolina Fioroni Ribeiro da Silva (DD processo nº 2018/24930-0; BEPE processo nº 2020/11267-1). (AU)

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