This program includes all translational research addressing optimization of mobility and physical performance of disabling disorders affecting the locomotor functions and brain, including children, adults and the typical rehabilitation target populations, including intensive care unit and diabetic foot disease populations.

Overall Aim

The program Rehabilitation & Development aims to optimize physical performance of individuals, including children, with musculoskeletal injuries, neurological disorders and chronic diseases affecting movement abilities. Movement is sub-served by our musculoskeletal system, which relies on the neural, endocrine, immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems that control and support it. The interactions of these systems are studied, to reveal how physical performance can be maintained.

The consequences of these disorders become apparent at the three WHO-ICF levels of functioning:

  • impairments in function of body structures (tissues and organs),
  • limitations in functional activities,
  • restrictions in participation in society.

Translational research comprises all these three levels and their interrelationships to understand and improve movement, mobility and physical performance in the context of personal and environmental factors.

Interventions cover:

  • surgery;
  • pharmacological interventions;
  • cognitive and motor learning and training strategies;
  • assistive devices;
  • (care giver) support.

Precision diagnostics of movement impairments, based on etiology, will be developed to personalize therapies that restore, adapt, or support the neuro-musculoskeletal system to optimize the restoration, development and preservation of movement abilities and physical performance.

The research addresses

  1. the biological mechanisms underlying declines in physical performance and the effect of interventions preventing/reducing these declines;
  2. diagnosis and prediction of declines in physical performance and the underlying impairments;
  3. efficacy and (cost-)effectiveness of interventions to prevent/reduce declines in physical performance.

Themes that are covered

  1. Rehabilitation addresses pathologies that affect the musculo-skeletal and central and/or peripheral nervous system resulting in movement impairments, associated disability at Function, Activities and Participation levels. The focus lies on stroke, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders/Parkinson’s Disease, neuromuscular diseases, hospital-acquired disorders, and diabetic foot disease
  2. Development addresses the normal motor and musculoskeletal development of children during growth into adulthood and the development of children with disorders. The focus lies on cerebral palsy, premature born infants, scoliosis, and connective tissue disorders.

 Program Board

  • Professor dr. Sicco Bus, Amsterdam UMC, location VUm (Progam director);
  • Dr. Erwin van Wegen, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc (Program deputy director);
  • Professor dr. Annemieke Buizer, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc;
  • Dr. Fieke Koopman, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC;
  • Professor dr. Thomas Janssen, Faculty of Behaviour and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam / Reade;
  • Dr. Karin Gerrits, Faculty of Behaviour and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam / Merem;
  • Wouter Schallig, PhD candidate, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc;
  • Elza van Duijnhoven, PhD candidate, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC;
  • Impact manager: Julia Ratter, PhD candidate, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

      Program Members