All motion other than simple reflexes originate in the brain.
The brain and the body work as a single integrated system, and many physical impairments have origins in the brain. In fact, improvement in any movement or action, from hitting a tennis ball to walking up the stairs result from refining and strengthening of the neural circuits which compute and execute these actions.
The strengthening of these circuits comes about by repetition and adaptation in response to external feedback.
All motion other than simple reflexes originate in the brain.

Neuromodulation

Let's start with Neuromodulation (and then Neuroplasticity on the next page). The drastic improvements observed after relatively short periods of use on the Reviver device are most likely due to a process of Neuromodulation.

Neuromodulation is the alteration of nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus, such as electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to specific neurological sites in the body.

In the context of therapy, Neuromodulation is primarily used as a means of inducing neuroplasticity, which is described in the following section.
Neural activation is crucial for neuroplasticity to occur. For example, stem cells can replace damaged oligodendrocytes and re-insulate axons, but will only do so if the neuron is active, which is often not the case for damaged or disused tissue.
Neuromodulation for therapeutic purposes artificially activates natural intact pathways, and synchronises healthy neural tissue, leading to stronger connections and healthier neurons within these pathways (Kuo et al., 2014; Ridding and Ziemann, 2010). Neuromodulation can also enforce reconnection in malfunctioning tissue.
The drastic improvements observed after relatively short periods of use on the REVIVER exercise device are most likely due to a process of neuromodulation.
Neuromodulation has been used effectively for Parkinson’s Disease patients, whereby an implantable pulse generator is implanted in areas identified via Magnetic Resonance Imaging as defective.
This treatment generally reduces motor symptoms and most patients can reduce medication (Benabid et al., 2009). Neuromodulation has also been used effectively for Epilepsy patients, where the vagus nerve is stimulated, and 30-50% of patients experience a reduction in seizure frequency and severity (Ben-Menachem, 2002).
These therapies are quite invasive and require the implantation of a device. Less invasive methods involve application of a miniature electrode array to the tongue, a technique developed by the Neurorehabilitation group at the University of Wisconsin.
This group applies the stimulation to the tongue at the same time as the patient carries out a movement task (Cranial Nerve, Non-Invasive Neuromodulation; CN-NINM). This combination is thought to be highly efficient at stimulating neuroplasticity (Danilov et al., 2007; Wildenberg et al., 2010). This technique yields large and rapid improvements in walking capabilities of traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis patients.
Neuromodulation has been used effectively for Parkinson’s Disease patients, whereby an implantable pulse generator is implanted in areas identified via Magnetic Resonance Imaging as defective.
We have documented equally large and rapid improvements in low-mobility elderly participants, and in one case a cerebral palsy patient.
The Reviver uses a very similar principle to CN-NINM, but is even less invasive. The stimulus is the periodic perturbation of the vestibular system via circular motion at a tilted angle.

Such a stimulation does not occur in day-to-day life.

Although the input stimulus is not electrical, the stimulus (motion) will generate an electrical impulse in the vestibulocochlear (ear) nerve in much the same way as the microelectrode array in CN-NINM generated an electrical impulse in the hypoglossal (tongue) nerve.
The combination of a targeted stimulus (the circular motion) with physical activity (the contracting and relaxing of muscles required to maintain equilibrium), is likely to enhance neuroplasticity in damaged or disused motor and balancing circuits.
In fact, given the strong neural interconnections between balancing and motor systems, we hypothesise that the vestibular system is a particularly appropriate target for neuromodulation.

Read about Neuroplasticity and REVIVER

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