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
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?
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
Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute is pleased to announce the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board. This group of distinguished scientists and physicians will provide strategic guidance on a range of issues, including programmatic development, funding opportunities, and clinical-research integration. Continue Reading
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.
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
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
As 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.
People with traumatic brain injuries frequently face problems with everyday memory function – an issue that can limit their recovery. Tessa Hart, PhD, director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute’s Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Research Laboratory, is contributing to research that may lead to improved memory in those people.
As part of a four-site study, Dr. Hart’s lab is testing whether the medication donepezil, which is used to treat dementia in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, can help with memory function in TBI patients. Donepezil is approved by the FDA and is known to be safe, with minimal side effects.
In this video, Dr. Hart provides more information on the study, which is currently recruiting additional research subjects. If you are interested in participating in the study, please call 215-663-6432.
Former fellows reflect on their experiences in the NIH-funded program
For the past five years Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) has been the lead site in a postdoctoral research program funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) training grant in translational neurorehabilitation research. Students who qualify for the unique fellowships made possible by this grant are given opportunities to gain exceptional in-depth mentorship and training critical for careers in translational neurorehabilitation research. The training opportunity is offered in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Neurology and Center for Functional Neuroimaging (Penn).
“The three-year fellowship is an apprenticeship model of training designed to offer mentored experience in meeting the challenges of the translational process,” says John Whyte, MD, PhD, principal investigator and director of the post-doctoral research training program, and founding director of MRRI. “Fellows spend most of their time conducting research in the lab of a primary mentor, but typically also select a secondary mentor. In keeping with our goal of promoting translational research, if a fellow’s primary mentor is largely engaged in basic science, we will encourage that person to have a secondary mentor whose work has more of a clinical focus, and vice versa.” Continue Reading
Can you recall a time when you couldn’t think of the name for something? Perhaps it was a familiar object you could picture in your mind. The word was “on the tip of your tongue,” but you just couldn’t name it.
Scientists who study language call this experience the tip of the tongue phenomenon. It happens occasionally to people with healthy brains, and it seems to become more prevalent as a part of healthy aging. The phenomenon is more common and persistent for people with aphasia—a disorder arising from brain damage that affects the production or comprehension of spoken, written or gestured speech. Aphasia affects more than one million people in the U.S., most of whom have suffered a left-hemisphere stroke. Continue Reading