Mitchell Rosenthal, PhD, was an early pioneer in the field of traumatic brain injury (TBI) widely recognized for his contributions to the advancement of clinical exploration and therapeutic practice. He was influential in the founding of the National Head Injury Foundation (now the Brain Injury Association of America), the creation of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, and the development of the national TBI Model System (TBIMS) National Database (NDB). After he passed away in 2007, in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the TBIMS and the NDB, the TBIMS established the Rosenthal Award in 2008 to keep Dr. Rosenthal’s memory alive and to inspire new generations of investigators. Each year, a committee reviews all papers that were published in the prior calendar year and rates them on 3 criteria: importance, technical quality, and writing quality. The top ranked paper is named the Rosenthal awardee for that year.
The 2022 recipient of the Rosenthal award is MRRI Institute Scientist Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD. She was recognized for her publication in the Journal of Neurotrauma entitled, “Aging with Traumatic Brain Injury: Deleterious Effects of Injury Chronicity Are Most Pronounced in Later Life.” In this paper, Dr. Rabinowitz and her collaborators attempted to disentangle potentially distinct effects of age and brain injury chronicity (the amount of time that has passed since injury) on TBI outcomes. There is evidence that both advancing age, and processes initiated by neurotrauma that unfold over time may contribute to brain health, which in turn impacts functional status, disability, and an individual’s ability to participate in society. In a large sample including 3,986 individuals who had sustained a moderate to severe TBI, followed either 2- or 10-years post-injury, Dr. Rabinowitz and colleagues found that both older age and greater injury chronicity were related to greater poorer outcomes. Furthermore, the adverse effects of chronicity were most pronounced among individuals who were 75 years old or older. Dr. Rabinowitz is very honored to receive this award alongside fellow MRRI Institute Scientist Umesh Venkatesan, PhD, and MossRehab clinician Thomas Watanabe, MD, as well as colleagues at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, JFK University Medical Center, Indiana University, and University of Alabama who were co-authors on the paper. “It has been rewarding to work on this project with such talented collaborators, and it means a lot to me to have our work recognized with this award. We look forward to continuing to advance our understanding of traumatic brain injury and the factors that impact TBI outcomes,” remarks Dr. Rabinowitz.