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October 26, 1984

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

JAMA. 1984;252(16):2277-2283. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160145044

Because patients with major disabilities usually are initially seen with a variety of problems that touch on many aspects of several different medical and psychosocial specialties and, most recently, the specialty of neurocybernetics, physical medicine and rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary practice that crosses traditional specialty and departmental lines. The practice of physiatrics thus requires a broad knowledge base and must be concerned with all aspects of the treatment of the disabled patient in cooperation with a closely knit team of specialists and medical care professionals. As the knowledge base has been expanded by the transfer of productive research into clinical practice, it has been broadened to include new areas of expertise.

Despite pessimism and nihilism in the past about therapeutic intervention in persons with CNS damage, as neuropsychologic testing and interpretation have become more expert, it has become evident that recovery of function after cortical injury occurs with retraining.1