Better Defining Medical Rehabilitation Treatments

When a doctor prescribes medical rehabilitation for a patient he or she often describes it in terms of time length (12 weeks), the institution where it will occur or the type of rehab – (physical therapy vs. gait training, etc.). None of that specifies what the therapist is actually expected to do. In this video, John Whyte, MD, PhD, founding director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, discusses his research on defining the active ingredients that need to be part of the therapeutic process. Continue Reading


Evaluating Aphasia Conversation Groups

The MossRehab Aphasia Center was founded over 20 years ago to meet the long-term communication and psychosocial needs of individuals who have been affected by aphasia. Over the years, conversation groups have become a core component of the activities the Center offers to people with aphasia.

In the Constance Sheerr Kittner Conversation Cafes, members have the opportunity to have their voices heard in a supportive environment. Adult conversation and social interaction are encouraged, with all group members engaging in communication strategies.

Recently, the Aphasia Center began a research project into measuring the effectiveness of these conversation groups.

In this video, Aphasia Center Clinical Director Sharon Antonucci, PhD, CCC-SLP, discusses the project, which focuses on finding the best metrics for tracking success among participants in this group.



Dr. Rabinowitz to Study Causes of Depression in Brain Injury

Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, director of the Brain Injury Neuropsychology Laboratory at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), has received funding to research depression in people who have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI). Specifically, she and her team are hoping to understand whether depression or a lack of participation in one’s usual activities comes first—what Rabinowitz refers to as a “chicken-or-the-egg” problem.

The $93,000 grant was awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

“We know that people with TBI may not be able to participate in their regular activities and experience the sense of reward that comes from them,” says Dr. Rabinowitz. “And this may lead to depression. However, people who become depressed first may also disengage from their usual activities. So our question is which one of the mechanisms is causing the other?” Continue Reading


Moving to Complex Skills More Quickly in Stroke Rehab

 

During stroke rehabilitation, therapists and physicians traditionally start patients with simple skills and then slowly build to more complex activities. The idea is to begin slowly and move to more demanding activities as the patient seems ready. Is there a more effective approach?

In this video, Shailesh Kantak, PhD, shares his research suggesting that patients could move to complex activities more quickly. Continue Reading


MossRehab/MRRI Renewed as Model System for TBI

MossRehab’s Drucker Brain Injury Unit and the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI)—both part of Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia—recently received their renewal grant for the 5th time from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to continue as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System.

The highly competitive grant and classification as a Model System is earned for excellence in both the treatment and the research related to a particular disability. Specifically, a TBI Model System must demonstrate a strong track record of excellent clinical care and treatment, carrying out a program of research on outcome prediction and treatment, and having a superior record of publications, presentations and other knowledge dissemination and teaching on TBI rehabilitation.

Receiving the grant renewal for the fifth straight cycle means the MossRehab TBI Model System has been continuously funded since 1997, making the renowned facility one of only two to hold the designation continuously for 25 years. (The other is Ohio State University.) Continue Reading



Rehabilitation Science Lecture Series Launched

This year, the newly launched Shrier Family Topics in Rehabilitation Science Lecture Series will enable MossRehab’s dedicated physicians, nurses, therapists, research scientists and staff to enhance care through the practical application of translational research.

Shrier's with MRRI Scientists

Marc and Nancy Shrier attended the most recent installment of the Shrier Family Topics in Rehabilitation Science Lecture Series with (far left, John Whyte, MD, PhD, founding Director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) and speaker speaker Steve Jax, PhD, Institute Scientist, MRRI.)

Thanks to a generous gift from long-time MossRehab and Einstein Healthcare Network champions, Nancy and Marc Shrier, clinicians will be able to share more widely the innovative research and pioneering rehabilitation technologies they are developing at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI). Devoted to improving the lives of individuals with neurological disabilities through research, MRRI is impacting rehabilitation therapies around the globe. Continue Reading


Rabinowitz Co-authors Study on Long-Term Effects of Concussion

Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, director of MRRI’s Brain Injury Neuropsychology Lab, along with John Whyte, PhD, MD, and collaborators at University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, contributed to a recently published study looking at the long-term effects of participation in high school football.

Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD

The study appeared in the journal JAMA Neurology. It was based on data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), which has followed a random sample of Wisconsin class of 1957 high school graduates.

In a recent column in Scientific American, the study’s authors describe their results:

“We were surprised to find that playing high school football did not have a statistically significant harmful effect on later-life cognition and mental health in this sample. Moreover, it did not have an effect on anxiety, anger, hostility, or alcohol abuse later in life.” Continue Reading


MRRI Scientists to Visit University College London

Gabriella Vigliocco imageAs a result of a Global Engagement Grant awarded to Gabriella Vigliocco, PhD, of University College London (UCL), Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute scientists will visit UCL next year for a workshop to discuss future collaborative research possibilities in the domains of language and action.

For several weeks a year, Professor Vigliocco is a “Scientist in Residence” at MRRI, where she collaborates regularly with researchers in the language and action domains. This grant will further enhance close collaboration between the two institutions.

Dr. Vigliocco is professor of psychology at University College London, where she directs the Language and Cognition Laboratory.