Neuroscience has fundamentally changed the understanding of learning and memory within recent years. Here, the authors discuss a number of specific areas where they believe new understanding of the CNS from basic science is having a fundamental impact on neurorehabilitation and is leading to new therapeutic approaches. These areas have constituted a basis for development of some basic principles for neurorehabilitation: Optimal rehabilitation should involve (a) active (patient) participation in the training, (b) training that does not only involve many repetitions, but also continues to challenge the skill of the training person, (c) motivation and reward, (d) intensive training and practice over a long time, (e) careful organization of the training in relation to other activities, and (f) incorporation of other potentially beneficial parameters such as sleep and diet. It should in this relation also be pointed out that albeit neurorehabilitation may be predicted to have the most optimal effect early in life and as soon after injury as possible, there is no reason to believe that beneficial effects of training may not be obtained late in life or several years after injury.
Keywords: clinical practice guidelines; motor learning; neurorehabilitation; nutrition; science-based rehabilitation.