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News

Researchers study impact of stroke on daily life activities

Washington University In St Louis : 04 January, 2002  (Technical Article)
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto have joined to expand the understanding of brain injury and its impact on everyday life.
Their research is funded by a three-year, $2 million grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

“The project is the first to bring together neuroscientists, psychologists, neurologists and occupational scientists to work together in an effort to understand the impact of brain injury on everyday life,” says Carolyn M. Baum, Ph.D., the principal investigator of the study. “For example, neuroscientists will use brain imaging and specific cognitive tasks to identify brain lesions, and occupational scientists will observe and test participants’ behaviors both in clinical and home settings. The goal is to use what we learn to design specific rehabilitation interventions.” Baum is the Elias Michael Director of the Program in Occupational Therapy and associate professor of occupational therapy.

The two research teams will conduct two separate studies to build a cognitive rehabilitation model. The first will examine two regions of the brain often damaged from stroke: the cerebellum, located at the back of the head, and the frontal lobe, located at the front of the brain. Researchers suspect that, though somewhat similar in function, the two areas are affected differently by stroke. If that is the case, each region may benefit from different rehabilitation techniques.

The second study will investigate why persons who appear to have full motor recovery fail to return to their prestroke level of function. Participants will undergo cognitive, behavioral and psychosocial skills training to see if such therapies improve their performance in everyday life.

The Washington University research team includes Alexander W. Dromerick, M.D., associate professor of neurology, Steven E. Petersen, Ph.D., professor of neurology, W. Thomas Thach Jr., M.D., professor of neurology, Dorothy F. Edwards, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational therapy, Maurizio Corbetta, M.D., associate professor of neurology, and Desiree A. White, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology.
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