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I am thankful to Wendy Edge from the Brain And Spinal Injury Centre (BASIC) for showing my colleague Emma and I around their facility in Salford and to witness first hand cutting edge technology in the form of Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN).

Who are BASIC?

BASIC is a not for profit organisation which exists to serve people recovering from acquired brain injury and spinal injury and their families. The charity specialises in centre-based services for people who have undergone treatment for a traumatic head injury, brain haemorrhage, brain tumour, stroke or similar conditions. Their services also help people manage long-term neurological conditions.


BASIC offer specialist treatment to young people and adults with neurological injury or conditions using the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment or CAREN. It’s ground-breaking one of a kind versatile multi-sensory Virtual Reality system for treatment and rehabilitation of human locomotion, back pain, posture, balance, spinal stability and motor control integration. The virtual-reality system puts patients at the helm of life-size ‘real-life’ activities, forcing them to use atrophied muscles and teaching the basic skills necessary to rewire connections in the brain.

How CAREN works

The CAREN is a virtual reality environment that takes force measurements as a patient is engaging a program on the screens. These precise measurements can be mapped along the body in front of the patient to show which muscles were used as they light up in green. If a muscle is red it shows it was at rest during the exercise. With this type of visual feedback, when the therapist asks them to exercise a particular muscle, the patient can now see in front which one they mean. This provides an excellent way to address a variety of issues in physical therapy.

Research shows it speeds up the recovery rate and enables the patient to practice real life situations in a safe and controlled environment.

We have had fantastic results in our research with stroke patients using CAREN. All of the participants improved their walking abilities, with some who couldn’t walk at the beginning being able to jog up and down hills. The fact that there is a safety harness enables people to push themselves and try things they wouldn’t normally do.

Dr Andy Kerr, MCSP, Research Fellow, Centre of Excellence in Rehabilitation and Research, Strathclyde University

BASIC is very fortunate to be able to offer their patients this revolutionary technology to assist with their recovery. This is the only treatment of its kind available to patients in the United Kingdom and it is not currently available in any NHS settings.

As a solicitor with experience of acting for individuals who have suffered a brain or spinal injury, I was able to see first-hand the benefits this form of treatment could offer my clients who have tragically suffered a brain or spinal injury.

I would not hesitate to refer my clients here for rehabilitation and I would strongly encourage my colleagues in my profession to do the same. Life following a brain or spinal injury will never be the same for those individuals but listening to the amazing stories told by Wendy in relation to the project at BASIC it leaves me inspired and hopefully that individual progress can be made!

We have some amazing stories in relation to the project at BASIC: a boy who sustained a significant head injury who couldn’t stand when he first came, and is now kicking a football whilst standing up! A young man who can only move his head, and who is now able to use our Virtual Reality physiotherapy sessions to recruit more activity in his core and trunk, and therefore use his seating systems more effectively.

Mike Greaney, Neuro Physiotherapist

If you have been involved in an accident and would like to speak to one of our specialist serious injury solicitors or would like more information about BASIC then contact us on 0161 399 1231.

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