Coping with mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, is among the most important concerns identified by people living with TBI and their families. A recent study completed at the Moss Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (TMBIS), led by Dr. Tessa Hart, evaluated a treatment for depression and/or anxiety in individuals with moderate to severe TBI using the “gold standard” method for evaluating treatments—a randomized controlled trial.
The treatment in this study is based on Behavioral Activation (BA)—an intervention that focuses on increasing involvement in rewarding and pleasurable activities. Participants in the program were randomly assigned to receive either 1) a single session of BA, followed by 8 weeks of daily text messages to remind them of their individualized goals for taking part in more rewarding activities, or 2) a single session focused on the importance of motivation followed by 8 weeks of motivational text messages.
Participants in both groups showed mild improvement in their mood at the end of the program. Those in the BA condition reported more exposure to environmental reward and greater productivity. Although the benefits of both treatments were modest, the results of this study suggest that BA was effective at increasing participation in rewarding activities, and the delivery of frequent text messages was a feasible and acceptable way of supporting treatment.
The findings from this study have been published in the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.
This article was originally published in The MossRehab Traumatic Brain Injury Model System’s Fall 2019 Edition of Brain E-News.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that involves brief periods of not breathing when the individual enters deeper sleep stages. When breathing stops, the individual becomes short of oxygen and partially wakes up again, which causes them to resume breathing. However, these respiratory events disrupt deep sleep throughout the night, and this can cause daytime drowsiness, cognitive impairment, auto and work-related accidents, and increased blood pressure and risk of stroke and heart attack.
Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) is excited to welcome Amanda Therrien, PhD to our team of exceptional Institute Scientists! In this interview, Amanda shares more about her career path, her research interests, and her experiences setting up her lab at MRRI.
On November 8, 2019, Dr. John Whyte, MD. PhD, FACRM, founding director and Institute Scientist Emeritus for the MRRI, received the Gold Key lifetime achievement award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). The Gold Key, awarded by the ACRM Awards Committe and Board of Governors, is the ACRM’s highest honor.
On October 19, 2019, the Moss TBI Model Systems and MossRehab co-hosted the Living Well with Brain Injury Conference, which marks the 5th TBI Model Systems Philadelphia area consumer conference. Over 250 conference goers enjoyed a day of lectures, workshops, networking and resource-sharing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD, recently wrote an invited blog for the Psychonomic Society. Her piece, entitled “#time4action: Using eyegaze to understand object-related action and goal knowledge” discusses some of the latest research on how visual attention and eyegaze are guided or distracted by objects that share similar purposes and manipulations.
Dr. Buxbaum is associate director of Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and director of MRRI’s Cognition and Action Laboratory, which focuses on studying the behavioral and brain bases of skilled action and object use in healthy and stroke participants.
The Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute recently published the inaugural issue of its annual newsletter, MRRI Letters. Highlighting the Institute’s accomplishments and successes from the past year, the newsletter tells the story of 2018 at MRRI.
This first issue includes a message from the Institute’s incoming Director, Dylan Edwards, PhD; a reflection from the former Director, John Whyte, MD, PhD; as well as feature stories on some of MRRI’s focus areas during the past year. Stories included features about grants awarded for research in stroke recovery, “naming impairment” in aphasia, and Traumatic Brain Injury treatments, just to name a few.
Virtual reality headsets have the power to transport their wearers into new 3D environments and can even make them believe they have new bodies. The realism that these “avatars” create can help provide insight into how that brain perceives space, imitates movement, and controls the body. MRRI recently launched a new effort, called the Virtual Reality Lab, to assist researchers interested in exploring the impact of VR in studies of rehabilitation treatment.
In this video, Laurel Buxbaum, PsyD, Associate Director of the MRRI and Aaron Wong, PhD, director of the Cognitive-Motor Learning Laboratory, discuss two research projects currently underway at the VR lab.
Research has shown that robotics and non-invasive brain stimulation both can improve recovery from central nervous system damage. Can that recovery be enhanced by combining the two techniques? In the latest episode of the MossRehab Conversations podcast, Dylan Edwards, PhD, discusses his research into both areas and what he is learning from using them together. Continue Reading