From the 24th of February to the 1st of March 2019, the 12 PhD fellows took part to the third Keep Control’s Training Week (TW3) in Leuven (Belgium). TW3’s principal topic was rehabilitation strategies.
During this week, the students could increase their knowledge on gait and balance training, especially in patients with Parkinson’s disease, stroke and frail elderly. A good balance between theory and practice was proposed by the organisers. They were provided with a lot of good advice to optimally design and provide rehabilitation programs, and an introduction to SPM (Statistical Parametric Mapping) analysis was helpful in the context of analysing the training outcomes. Following theoretical seminars, workshops allowed the PhD students to discuss with specialists in rehabilitation while visiting laboratories from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (KUL). The PhD fellows had the chance to try out different tools that are used for training, such as inertial sensors that give real-time feedback on your gait. They walked on a treadmill with the left and right side of the treadmill at different speeds. They performed several other tasks during walking and had a look at how that influences our walking and the task. The fellows tried out a translating platform (CAREN system from Motek BV) to test and train balance with or without virtual reality feedback. The topic of this TW3 (treatment of gait and balance) was complementary to previous training weeks in Kiel and Amsterdam which were dedicated to basic understanding of age and age-related diseases, harmonization of data collection, how to motivate the participant and data analysis, and assessment of gait and balance, respectively.
Figure 1: KU Leuven; Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences.
Another key moment of TW3 was the mid-term evaluation of Keep Control’s consortium. To this end, Keep Control’s fellows and supervisors had the chance to count on the presence of M. Julien Giordani, Project Officer (PO) for the European Commission. In front of the whole consortium and the PO, the 12 PhD students presented their project and the milestones reached until then. This meeting showed that despite some obstacles, all projects are moving forward and already showing interesting results. The day after, a smaller committee including only the fellows and the PO took place, during which the PhD students had the great opportunity to speak about any difficulties and/or facilities regarding the global organization of their PhD project within the European consortium. The outcomes of the discussion were fortunately unanimously really positive.
Finally, besides all the trainings and meetings, a cultural visit of Leuven was organised on Sunday the 24th of February. Leuven is a culturally and historically rich city, which was presented through the lenses of its university, one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1425). During the week, the students could also taste Leuven’s specialities in the city’s restaurants and cafés, leaving the fellows great memories and the wish to come back soon.
Figure 2: The group of PhD fellows during the tour of the historic university town of Leuven.
Written by: Madli Bayot