Eling De Bruin

Eling De Bruin

Affiliated to Research
Visiting address: Alfred Nobels Allé 23, 14183 Huddinge
Postal address: H1 Neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle, H1 Fysioterapi, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • B.Pt. 1986 (Physical Therapy)
  • M.Sc. 1995 (Human Movement Sciences)
  • Ph.D.
    1999 (Human Movement Sciences)
  • Habilitation (Venia Legendi) ETH, Zurich,
    Switzerland, 2010 (Motor Control and Learning).


  • General description: The health and well-being of a person depends on the
    complex interactions in physical, cognitive and social domains [cf.
    International Classification of Functioning (ICF) by the World Health
    Organisation, Geneva. Even in the absence of overt pathology, motor
    functioning can deteriorate, as evidenced by the incidence and impact of
    falls in aging populations. Falls are one of the most common reasons for
    medical intervention in older people and their occurrence might initiate a
    vicious cycle of decline leading to fear of falling, nursing home admittance
    and loss of independence. Falls among older adult populations often occur
    during walking, and gait dysfunction is included among the many risk factors
    for falls.
    Although more traditional training programmes are able to increase muscle
    strength and improve balance and, therefore, positively influence some
    measures of gait, they often do not impact on spatial and temporal
    characteristics of gait that are associated with distinct brain networks.
    Because these gait characteristics are associated with distinct brain
    networks, it can be hypothesised that addressing neuronal losses in these
    networks may be an important strategy to prevent mobility disability in older
    A way to bring in a cognitive element into an exercise program is the use of
    virtual reality techniques. There are some reports on the use and effects of
    virtual reality exergaming-training in various populations. Methods using
    immersive computer technologies resulted in improved motor functions of upper
    extremities and a cortical activation after virtual reality intervention in
    patients with chronic stroke. Older adults benefited from training in terms
    of improved functional abilities, postural control and simple auditory
    reaction times under dual task conditions.
    My research focus is on the intimately linked motor and cognitive aspects of
    human movement and age-related risk of falling. I strive to extend our
    findings ‘from bench to bedside’ using efficient combinations of basic
    and advanced technologies to capture the plasticity of central and peripheral
    motor control systems as well as of cognition in response to physical
    activity and training interventions.
    Studying the mechanisms of healthy ageing and changing neuromuscular control
    in the multidisciplinary department of NVS at KI allows us to develop
    experimental procedures involving molecular and nutritional, biomechanical,
    and neurophysiological measures. We strive to do this by performing gait
    analysis, cognitive testing and CNS assessment using motion capturing,
    inertial sensors, surface electromyography and electroencephalography,
    functional near-infrared spectroscopy and access to magnetic resonance
    The long-term strategy aims to extend gained insights from healthy
    populations to clinical disorders. The focus is on the development of novel
    motor-cognitive training concepts, aimed at improving motor and cognitive
    adaptations as well as brain-muscle functional connectivity during locomotion
    in ageing populations.


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