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Best rehabilitation practices for amputees studied with $300,000 grant
Date:2/29/2012

lenges faced by amputees, including pain," Frey said. "A better understanding of these changes may help in the development of more effective rehabilitation strategies for amputees and others who have experienced injuries to the body, brain or spinal cord."

This study would not be possible without MU's Brain Imaging Center. The MRI technology in the center allows researchers to collect behavioral data by producing pictures of the entire body, including the brain. The technology also captures certain functions, such as brain activity during a mental task and body metabolism.

"MU is one of the few academic institutions to have this technology available on campus and accessible to all departments and industries," Frey said. "We have conducted behavioral studies on diseases such as Parkinson's disease, autism and schizophrenia. The center allows us to have a space dedicated to these types of studies instead of sharing time with an MRI machine in a medical setting, which could delay studies and, as a result, inhibit researchers from obtaining information that could improve the lives of Missourians and citizens throughout the country."

Previously, Frey had studied how the brain reacts when a hand transplant is completed. In that study, he found that, following a hand transplant, normal activity does return to the region of the brain that controls hand function. In that study, the amputee Frey observed received a hand transplant 35 years after his accident.

While the current work is focused on hand loss, individuals with lower extremity amputation due to injury will be included in the near future. The new study will begin this spring. Participants with or without prostheses are welcome. Potential volunteers and anyone interested in learning more about this research should contact Frey at freylab@missouri.edu or 573-882-3866. More information also can be found at

Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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