Buxbaum Receives 2018 Viste Award

Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD, associate director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, has received the 2018 Viste Award from the American Society of Neurorehabilitation (ASNR).

The award honors Kenneth M. Viste, Jr., MD, who was a tireless advocate for neurorehabilitation and ASNR. According to the organization, the award is presented annually “to an individual that has supported the mission and vision of ASNR over the course of his or her career, by supporting neurorehabilitation as a field, engaging in clinical and educational work, and making our medical peers aware of the importance of neurorehabilitation.” Continue Reading




Creating a Path to Improved Naming in People with Aphasia

Aphasia can be quite frustrating  for people who struggle to communicate. In addition to naming difficulties, some people with aphasia experience comprehension impairment, where hearing or reading the name of an object conveys the wrong image or meaning.

Erica Middleton, PhD, has been studying naming problems for eight years. Her last six years have been spent researching how people with aphasia can relearn and comprehend names, first as a Post-Doc at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), and now as the Institute Scientist leading MRRI’s Language and Learning Laboratory.

In this video, Dr. Middleton talks about a five year, $2.4 million grant she received from the National Institutes of Health that will lead to a theory of learning needed to advance aphasia rehabilitation.


Developing a Rehab Treatment Specification System

For more than a decade, researchers and clinicians in the field of rehabilitation have been searching for an answer to the black box problem—that is, the field’s inability so far to characterize and ultimately classify rehabilitation treatments according to useful, operational definitions that focus on their active ingredients.

In 2014, researchers at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), together with Marcel Dijkers, PhD and colleagues at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, introduced an early framework for this process, called the Rehabilitation Treatment Taxonomy (RTT). Continue Reading


Creating a ‘Yardstick’ for Measuring Progress in Rehab

In physical medicine and rehabilitation, doctors and therapists generally measure progress using the Functional Improvement Measurement (FIM)™ – a widely accepted scale designed to gauge the functional abilities of patients undergoing rehabilitation.

The problem, according to John Whyte, MD, PhD, director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, is that the FIM score doesn’t provide enough detail to distinguish between patients throughout the entire process of rehabilitation.

In this video, Dr. Whyte talks about his project to develop a more effective means of measuring patient progress. Continue Reading


Buxbaum, Colleagues Publish Study on Phantom Limb Pain

Standard treatment generally doesn’t provide relief for people with amputations who experience phantom limb pain. However, research on the use of virtual reality has recently shown promise for this new approach.

Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD, associate director of MRRI, and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, in Stuttgart, Germany, recently published research about the use of immersive low-cost virtual reality treatment for the treatment of phantom limb pain. Continue Reading


Myrna Schwartz Appears on Aphasia Access Podcast

Myrna F. Schwartz, PhD

Myrna F. Schwartz, PhD

Mryna Schwartz, PhD, co-founder of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, recently discussed best practices in aphasia care as part of the Aphasia Access Conversations podcast series.

In a conversation with Janet Patterson, PhD, Dr. Schwartz discussed the role of ethics and institutional review in clinical research activities that involve people with aphasia.

Dr. Schwartz headed MRRI’s Language and Aphasia Laboratory for many years.


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