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Kessler Foundation scientists awarded New Jersey grants for brain injury research
Date:9/21/2012

WEST ORANGE, N.J.Two neuroscientists at Kessler Foundation received grants from the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research. Helen Genova, Ph.D., research scientist in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research was awarded a three-year Individual Research Grant totaling $462,103. Starla Weaver, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Research, received a three-year Fellowship Research Grant for $199,764. Kessler Foundation conducts cognitive and mobility rehabilitation research in brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Nancy Chiaravalloti, Ph.D., director of Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research, commented, "We are pleased to have the support of the Commission for these important studies. Expanding our knowledge of how TBI affects brain function will help us to devise more effective strategies for cognitive rehabilitation."

Dr. Genova is interested in the long-term cognitive dysfunction that can cause disability after brain injury. While some recover over time, a significant number of individuals show continued impairment and even progressive cognitive decline. The identification of an accurate and reliable predictor of cognitive outcome would help to guide patients and families through the recovery process, but such a predictor has eluded investigators. Dr. Genova will apply a new neuroimaging technique, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to the study of the cognitive effects of TBI. DTI has proven to be a highly sensitive measure of diffuse axonal injury and white matter integrity, but few studies have applied DTI to the study of cognitive deficits in people more than two years post TBI. Delineating the relationship between diffuse axonal injury and cognitive impairment could transform the initial approach to rehabilitation and enable clinicians to provide patients and families with prognostic information regarding cognitive recovery. Dr. Genova's project is "The
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Contact: Lauren Scrivo
lscrivo@kesslerfoundation.org
973-324-8384
Kessler Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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