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Summer 2018 Edition

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Summer 2018 Edition

Translational Rehabilitation Research: A 360-degree Approach to Science and Practice

Leaders at TIRR Memorial Hermann have long recognized the benefit of researchers working hand in hand with clinicians. In 2013, with funds raised through the Memorial Hermann Foundation’s successful Revolutionizing Neuroscience initiative, they turned a large, long-vacant building adjacent to the hospital into the TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center.

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Message from the CMO

2016 Spring Gerard Francisco

Last year the World Health Organization brought together key stakeholders to kick off Rehabilitation 2030: A Call for Action, a global initiative to raise the profile of rehabilitation worldwide as a health strategy. WHO’s goal is to find ways to reduce disability and increase independence and participation around the globe through clinical care and research.

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Health Literacy Following Traumatic Brain Injury and Its Impact on Health-related Outcomes

Last December, project directors of the 16 Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research attended the program’s national meeting in Washington, D.C., to present proposals for module projects and select a handful to be implemented. Among those chosen is a multisite project that will characterize health literacy in a representative sample of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and determine the contribution of health literacy to health outcomes.

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The Post-traumatic Confusional State: Toward a Case Definition

Under the auspices of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, researchers at TIRR Memorial Hermann, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and other institutions across the country are working to establish consensus recommendations for defining and establishing diagnostic criteria for the post-traumatic confusional state (PTCS).

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Nothing About Us Without Us: SCIDR’s Commitment to Partnering with Consumers

With origins in Central European political traditions, the saying “Nothing About Us Without Us,” was adopted by the disability rights movement in the 1990s, popularized by American author and activist James Charlton, Executive Vice President of Access Living in Chicago. Charlton holds that disability is socially constructed and that people are “disabled” through barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion from everyday life, rather than by medical conditions.

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Pain, Depression and the Effect of Resilience in People with Spinal Cord Injury

Researchers at TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Research Center (SCIDR) have undertaken a longitudinal study examining the relations of pain and depression among women and men with spinal cord injury. The study, funded by the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, seeks to identify ameliorating factors that may moderate the relation of pain on depression and improve quality of life.

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Intelligent Hand Rehabilitation Using an Exoskeleton Driven by Intent and Muscle Activities

Ping Zhou, PhD

In the laboratory of Ping Zhou, PhD, researchers are developing and testing assistive training and rehabilitation devices they hope will restore function in patients with spinal cord injury, stroke and other neurological injuries. In the process, they seek an understanding of the neural mechanisms that contribute to impairment of human motion.

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Bladder Neuromodulation with Surface Electric Stimulation in Acute Spinal Cord Injury

Argyrios Stampas, MD

Argyrios Stampas, MD, and his research team recently concluded that transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (TTNS) can be performed safely to improve management of neurogenic bladder during inpatient rehabilitation of patients with acute traumatic spinal cord injury.

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BreEStim: An Innovative Neuromodulation Technique for Management of Neuropathic Pain

Electrical stimulation (EStim) therapy, which uses small electrodes to send electrical currents through the skin to target certain muscle groups or nerves, has a broad range of applications in rehabilitation to achieve functional and therapeutic goals, from spasm relaxation to pain management.

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Combined Dextroamphetamine and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: Toward a New Treatment Option for Poststroke Aphasia

In an article published last year in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a research team at TIRR Memorial Hermann reported the results of a safety study using a combined intervention consisting of dextroamphetamine, transcranial direct current stimulation and speech and language therapy in study participants with nonfluent aphasia. Their results lay the groundwork for future studies of new treatment options for speech recovery after stroke.

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Susan Robinson-Whelen, PhD: From Geropsychology to Disability Issues

Susan Robinson-Whelen, PhD

Observing her two grandfathers growing older in very different ways sparked Susan Robinson-Whelen, PhD’s interest in aging when she was young. Early in her undergraduate education, she chose gerontology as a career path.

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TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Innovation Awards

The following studies are ongoing through the support of TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Innovation Awards. Each year, a Pilot Award of up to $50,000 is granted to an experienced investigator to fund an innovative pilot project that will lead, ultimately, to federal or foundation funding for expanded research studies. Two staff awards, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, support smaller projects designed to give therapists, nurses, social workers and other staff hands-on experience in research with mentoring by experienced investigators.

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Message from the CEO

Jerry Ashworth

For 28 consecutive years, U.S. News and World Report has named TIRR Memorial Hermann to its list of America’s Best Hospitals. That recognition is based on our accomplishments in clinical care and our legacy of innovation through research. it is not uncommon to see our clinicians and researchers collaborating with one another to design research studies that can be put to use quickly to benefit our patients.

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