- Akio Tsubahara, M.D. Professor & Chairman Physiatrist
Main Areas and Themes of Research
The research area of rehabilitation medicine includes wide-ranging fields such as neuromuscular electrophysiology, neuromuscular pathology, kinematics, kinesiology, exercise physiology, rehabilitation bioengineering, image analysis study, clinical research, and so on. The main themes of our research are outlined below.
1) Transcranial magnetic stimulation and motor evoked potentials
2) Therapeutic electrical and magnetic stimulation to peripheral nerves and muscles
3) New developments in measurement of muscle fiber conduction velocity
4) Evaluation of swallowing function and development of treatment methods for dysphagia
5) Relation between analysis of food texture and safe eating
6) Comprehensive team approach for cognitive dysfunction
7) New approach for pervasive developmental disorder
8) New developments for orthosis and welfare device
Medical care personnel of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Kawasaki Medical School Hospital provide functional training and counseling concerning aspects of life to patients who need a lot of assisted care in their daily life due to impaired limbs or cognitive dysfunction. Inpatient and outpatient treatment is provided to the disabled. Patients who require intensive training can be hospitalized in the convalescent rehabilitation ward to receive a comprehensive team approach. Our hospital is the first university hospital to provide a convalescent rehabilitation ward in Japan. Therapeutic regimen includes physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), speech therapy (ST), drug therapy, and a psychosocial program.
In addition to the therapeutic approach for physically disabled patients, we also provide medical treatment to patients with language disorders or dysphagia. An active rehabilitation approach assures patients of their social reintegration to their own home. All our members work all of the time to achieve a high quality of life (QOL) for the disabled and aged. The main diseases and clinical states are listed below.
1) Stroke (cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoidal hemorrhage)
2) Traumatic brain Injury
3) Brain tumor
4) Degenerative diseases of the brain (Parkinsonism, spinocerebellar degeneration)
5) Demyelinating diseases (multiple sclerosis)
6) Encephalitis and meningitis
7) Hypoxic brain damage
8) Cerebral palsy, childhood genetic diseases, and developmental disorders
9) Pervasive developmental disorders and developmental language disorders
10) Spinal cord injury, spinal cord infarction, and other spinal cord diseases
11) Neuromuscular disease (ALS, polyneuropathy, polymyopathy, muscular dystrophy)
12) Bone and joint disease (osteoarthritis, fracture)
13) Rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue diseases
15) Cardio-respiratory diseases
17) Cognitive dysfunction
18) Chronic pain syndrome
19) Ageing and disuse syndrome
20) Psychogenical movement disorders
Various educational programs are prepared in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine for many medical service personnel, including medical students, co-medical students (PT, OT, ST, nurses), postgraduate students, junior residents, senior residents, short-term trainees and overseas students.
The purpose of our educational programs for medical students is to make certain everyone understands the importance of a comprehensive rehabilitation approach for the acute phase of diseases. Additionally, we emphasize that the aim of rehabilitation medicine is not to cure the illness, but to overcome three levels of obstacles: impairment, disability and handicap. Clinical clerkship is adopted as the style of practice education, and every student interacts with real patients under the direction of a physician on a one-to-one basis. During the clinical clerkship for one week, students experience clinical examination and evaluation by themselves, make a presentation regarding the treatment plan of patients during the ward round, and observe the situation of functional trainings.
Junior and senior residents have experience with the diagnosis and treatment of many patients with several diseases as a practical matter under the guidance of instructors, assistant professors, an associate professor, and a professor.They can take a certification examination for specialists in rehabilitation medicine after 5 years of practice.