News and Updates from MRRI for May 2020

In May, we were pleased to highlight the important contributions of our scientists and staff members engaged in exceptional stroke research as part of National Stroke Awareness Month. We published several new stroke-related posts on the MRRI blog, including:

We would like to take a moment to congratulate Laurel Buxbaum, PsyD, Dylan Edwards, PhD, and Erica Middleton, PhD, all of whom were authors on new research papers published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals last month. In addition, we are excited to announce that Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, was recently elected as Secretary of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (ACRM BI-ISIG) Executive Committee.

MRRI is also pleased to celebrate a recent grant award. MRRI Postdoctoral Fellow Marja Liisa Mailend, PhD, is Principal Investigator of a new grant from the Albert Einstein Society in collaboration with MRRI Institute Scientist Erica Middleton, PhD. Through this grant, Drs. Mailend and Middleton will test and improve a promising treatment technique, called speech entrainment, in people with chronic aphasia. Aphasia is a language disorder arising after stroke or other brain injury that affects a person’s ability to communicate. Speech entrainment involves speaking in unison with a model speaker by imitating the model in real time, and this technique has been demonstrated to dramatically improve connected speech output in people with aphasia. This project will expand upon previous research by investigating whether speech entrainment may improve independent speech after practice as well as by investigating conditions that enhance benefits from treatment. The aims of this research project will provide important information that can inform the optimization of a promising clinical treatment technique for aphasia rehabilitation. Furthermore, it will provide key pilot data for a future clinical trial examining the efficacy and long-term benefits of speech entrainment practice within the context of traditional rehabilitation therapy.

Looking ahead, we are dedicated to helping raise public awareness and scientific understanding of aphasia during National Aphasia Month and beyond. MRRI scientists are renowned for their expertise in studying and developing novel therapies to treat aphasia. Keep an eye out throughout this month for more updates and new articles highlighting some of the outstanding aphasia research at MRRI!

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