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This year we will not be holding Neuro-rehabilitation Awareness Day but hope to celebrate it again in future years. Read on below to find out the purpose behind the day.

Why do we celebrate NAD on 13th August?
The Pedro Bach-y-Rita Story – Pedro was born on 13th August 1893. In 1959, aged in his late sixties, he suffered a stroke, paralysing half his body. He was supported by his son George, to engage in ongoing exercise at home, despite being told there was no hope and being offered no options. Still paralysed and reliant on carers after 4 weeks in in-patient rehab, at home, Pedro literally re-learnt to crawl before learning to walk again. Each day George turned daily life activities into hours of exercise for Pedro. Pedro continued to recover at home over time and was able to return to work. His recovery inspired his other son, the late Paul Bach-y-Rita, neuroscientist turned neuro-rehabilitation doctor. Paul is recognised as one of the fathers of ‘neuroplasticity’ – applying the idea that the central nervous system (brain and spine) can change and heal itself through stimulation. 
Pedro, Dr George Bach-y-Rita and the late Dr Paul Bach-y-Rita’s story is set out in Dr Norman Doidge’s international bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself.

I’m Not Affected by a Brain or Spinal Cord Condition – What Does Neuro-rehab Matter to Me?
Have you heard of Todd Sampson and his Award Winning Documentary Redesign (Hack) My Brain? That set out to scientifically prove that anyone can improve their brain. Central to that idea is the concept of neuroplasticity and its relationship with exercise. Pedro Bach-y-Rita’s autopsy findings told the story of neuroplasticity in action. Pedro’s severely damaged brain was still evident but Pedro’s brain had learnt to reorganise itself to function in daily life again. Neuroplasticity and its role in neuro-rehab is what we celebrate each Neuro-rehab Awareness Day.
While you may not physically be affected by a neurological condition, the current state of neuro-rehabilitation services in Australia, means that as a tax-payer, the current under-resourcing and lack of funding for neuro-rehabilitation programs for Australians with neurological conditions, is costing us more by way of healthcare spending, long-term care and welfare costs. Investing in neuro-rehabilitation is a valuable long-term investment contributing positively to society. Funding neuro-rehabilitation is as important as funding research for a cure.

Our mission is to raise funds for a Rex Bionics exoskeleton for every state and territory in Australia.

Please donate to bring an UPSTANDING Project to your state/territory by clicking your state/territory below.

Within each state/territory the exoskeleton will be placed with universities to further research trials, as well as shared with existing neuro-rehab service providers so they are able to offer a therapy session with an exoskeleton at no extra cost to their usual fees. AINRehab is in the process of building partnerships with universities and neuro-rehabilitation service providers across the country.

We chose Rex Bionics as our first neuro-rehab technology project to fund because of its hands-free self-supporting design. This has the potential to help people with higher level spinal cord injuries and people with acquired brain injuries who also have upper limb disabilities to exercise intensively in an upright position. We look forward to acquiring other exoskeletons and upper limb technologies in the future to ensure Australians can access the neuro-rehab technologies most suited to their needs, in their community.

By enabling more individuals to access Rex Bionics technology in their community as part of a research trial, they benefit from no-cost access to intensive neuro-rehab therapy which would otherwise be unaffordable. Importantly, we build a body of scientific evidence to inform future best practice clinical guidelines in Australia for neuro-rehab and shape public funding policy of neuro-rehab. By gifting access to the technology to existing neuro-rehab service providers in the community, we are enabling more individuals to access intensive upright exercise sessions in a robotic device at the same price they currently pay for therapy without state of the art robotic technology.

Did you know?

Neuro-rehabilitation is what happens next, after you have been diagnosed with a neurological condition and suffered damage to your brain or spinal cord, from injury or illness. It involves a healthcare team working together on an individualised program to maximise your functional abilities, health and quality of life.
Neuroplasticity is the brain and spine’s capacity to adapt and recover after being damaged by an injury or illness. Scientific evidence has shown that exercise interventions after brain and spinal damage has occurred, can lead to NeuroRecovery. To promote positive neuroplasticity, high intensity, repetitive, task-oriented training in a stimulating environment, is needed.
NeuroRecovery is the regaining of lost function and abilities which were impaired or lost e.g. learning to use your hand again, learning to stand and take steps again. It does not end when you leave hospital. The AIN recognises that NeuroRecovery is a life-long journey.
The right to rehabilitation i.e. therapy to support recovery post injury/illness, is a human right protected under the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the Australian Government.
Australian in-patients (public) receive 25% or less of recommended daily dosages of therapy i.e. 37mins/day instead of 3hours/day. There are currently no Australian standards. In the USA, in-patients must receive a minimum of 3hours/day for at least 5 days a week.
If just 10% of carers (who are family members of the person with the disability) were able to return to the workforce, there would be a $3 billion boost into the economy. If just 2% of people with a disability could come off the pension to work, then there would be an injection of $2.5 billion into the economy. Carer support packages and return to work initiatives are only part of the solution, boosting investment in rehabilitation is integral to the solution.

“After 198 sessions, the 61 year old female had a decrease of expected lifetime expenses between $148,237 and $197,208 due to the gained function” following intense walking therapy. Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network Study
The NDIS does not fund rehabilitation programs. AIN is committed to advocacy work, to improve Australians’ access to funding sources for ongoing access to Neuro-rehabilitation programs in the community.

“Rehabilitation increases independence and reduces the need for continued care, such that the cost of rehabilitation may be offset by savings in on-going care in the community” Professor Turner-Stokes, Chair of Rehabilitation Kings College London

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