Deusto project Rehacob selected as European innovative initiative ready for Scaling Up

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) marks a leap forward in comparison to previous policy and extends active ageing to every social field to give the different sectoral policies a new approach as it analyses them from the point of view of active ageing principles.


26 October 2015

Bilbao Campus

The European consortium AFE-INNOVNET has designated Deusto’s project Rehacob as notable practice of age-friendly environments across Europe, and has selected it as part of a carefully chosen group of innovative initiatives with potential for scaling up, part of the Scaling-Up strategy the European Commission launched last year.

The project is led by Dr Natalia Ojeda (Director), Javier Peña and Naroa Ibarretxe from the Neuropsychology of Mental and Neurological Disorders research team in the Faculty of Psychology and Education at Deusto. Rehacob is a pioneering programme of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation for patients with cognitive impairments caused by psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, or neurological such Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis. It is an integrative and structured cognitive training programme for therapists and patients. It offers Health and Care Services an efficient tool that meets the shortcomings of drugs and other actual treatments thus increasing cost efficiency, and improves patients’ environment and quality of life.

Rehacob’s effectiveness has been tested and proved, with patients showing evidence of improved concentration and learning capacity, verbal and visual memory, communication and relationship skills, and executive functioning. These high impact results were recognized by Oxford journal Schizophrenia Bulletin who recognized the originality and effectiveness that have made Rehacob the first European clinic trial that has demonstrated efficient results against functional dependency, as wells as fight the negative symptoms of the illness.

This year, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, Neurology, published a clinical trial proving the effectiveness of Rehacob in Parkinson´s disease. Dr Ojeda´s team has demonstrated that Rehacob not only improves cognition and the illness’ symptoms, it also creates stable changes in the brain. Basque Public Health Service, Osakidetza, has adopted Rehacob as standard treatment in its centres in Biscay and Alava. It is already used in La Rioja, Madrid, Valencia, Aragón, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Andalucía, and is being adapted to Catalan for implementation in Catalonia. It is foreseen to be rolled out to other centres across Spain before long.

Worldwide there are teams using Rehacob in USA, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru, and soon other countries in Latin America. Translation and adaptation to English, Portuguese, and Polish is well underway.

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