A NeuroMat reference site on brachial plexus injury

The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) has launched a web portal for the ABRAÇO initiative to provide an easy-to-go reference point for updated, reliable information on the brachial plexus injury and research associated to this injury. ABRAÇO stands for NeuroMat Action for the Brachial Plexus Injury and is led by NeuroMat PI Claudia Domingues Vargas. The web portal associated to ABRAÇO is available at: abraco.numec.prp.usp.br.

ABRAÇO is an initiative of NeuroMat's technology-transfer stream of activities, which also includes the NeuroMat Parkinson Network, AMPARO. The initiative on the brachial plexus injury is supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), and the Research Center in Neurosciences and Rehabilitation from the Deolindo Couto Neurology Institute at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro is a partner.

As patients and caregivers turn to the internet for information on issues pertaining to the brachial plexus injury, to provide access to a reliable source becomes a paramount priority in the process of transferring scientific knowledge to a broader public. "Our goal is to serve as a virtual forum to interact at worldwide level with the community interested in this thematic. We expect to produce high quality scientific, technology transfer and dissemination pieces concerning the lesion and its effects in the brain, as well as general guidelines concerning its treatment and rehabilitation," as Vargas put it on a previous issue of this newsletter.

Web portal

The web portal of ABRAÇO has three main, general content tabs. Updates are regular and are shown up at the site front page, under a rubric on featured news ("Novidades," in Portuguese).

The tab on the brachial plexus injury ("Lesão do plexo braquial," in Portuguese) provides information on the injury --definition, causes, diagnosis, types and further references-- and treatments --surgery, postoperative care, clinical general recommendations, pain relief, physyotherapy and psychology. Key words are linked to Wikipedia entries, that are being worked on by the NeuroMat dissemination team.

The tab on research ( "Pesquisa," in Portuguese) gathers three types of content: publications, research projects and activities. The goal is to delineate the research agenda that informs ABRAÇO and ease access to scientific outcomes and processes.

The tab on educational resources ("Recursos educacionais," in Portuguese) brings four main types of content, meant as resources for wide audiences: booklets, event calendar, videos and what has been called "ABRAÇO Acadêmico". The latter is the transposition of scientific articles onto more widely accessible reports, in which the context and relevance of findings are explicitly made. The NeuroMat scientific and dissemination teams are currently working on the production of a first booklet on the brachial plexus, to be released in 2018. A first movie available below has been produced, that gives a general overview of ABRAÇO.

The website was designed by artist Sara Müller with the NeuroMat dissemination team. A version in English is expected to be released in 2018. The website is made available under an open license, so its content is for wide use --as long as credit to the initiative is given.

This piece is part of NeuroMat's Newsletter #46. Read more here

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