Traumatic Brain Injury

Head Xray

Spaulding is currently conducting research studies on TBI. The studies aim to effect and potentially improve the cognitive, behavioral, and functional symptoms that are common in individuals who have sustained a TBI.

Mel Glenn, MD
Southey Saul
Christina Supelana
Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Longitudinal Follow-Up Center
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital has continued to work with the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) as a longitudinal follow-up center by virtue of a contract with the TBIMS National Data and Statistical Center at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, who is in turn funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education. The grant supports the participation of Spaulding in a nationwide database collecting a broad variety of data from TBI patients to build a better understanding of the dynamics of this condition.

J. Andrew Taylor, PhD
The Cardiovascular Research Laboratory is pursuing research into potential physiologic explanations for the intrinsic ability of the blood vessels in the brain to "auto-regulate" blood flow. Current research is characterizing potential mechanisms for this autoregulation and how it may be compromised after traumatic brain injury, potentially resulting in characteristic symptoms of headache and dizziness.

Ross Zafonte, DO
Effects of light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Memory for TBI Patients
LED is a form of light therapy that has been used safely and effectively since the mid 1960s. Applications include wound healing, reduction of edema and inflammation, and prevention of tissue loss. Recent studies indicate the possibility of a beneficial effect of LED when used to treat TBI. The purpose of this 4 month long research study is to investigate whether Transcranial, high-intensity LED applied outside the skull can improve working memory in TBI patients. Qualified candidates must be 18 to 65 years of age, sustained a mild TBI at least 6 months prior to enrollment and continue to have memory and thinking issues.

Ross Zafonte, DO
Effects of Amantidine on the Treatment of Chronic TBI Irritability and Aggression
Irritability and aggression are common, yet difficult to treat, symptoms of TBI. Amantadine is an FDA approved drug that is used to treat Influenza A, Parkinson's disease and other similar conditions. A recent, single site study has indicated the possibility of a beneficial effect of Amantidine on the treatment of irritability and aggression in TBI patients. The purpose of this 3-month research study is to investigate whether Amantadine is effective in treating irritability and aggression in patients with TBI. Qualified candidates must be 18 - 65 years of age, sustained a TBI at least 6 months prior to enrollment and continue to experience irritability and aggression.

Ross Zafonte, DO 
“Cognitive Remediation After Trauma Exposure”  (CREATE) Study
Sometimes, recovering from a traumatic brain injury and/or a traumatic event (post-traumatic stress disorder –PTSD) is difficult and very slow for patients.  Some survivors have lingering symptoms such as poor memory and exhaustion. One of the most prevalent symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is difficulty with memory, attention, and speed of information processing. Many of our nation’s servicemen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer at least one concussion during their tour(s).  The purpose of the study is to assess the effectiveness of 2 different medications (Galantamine or Ritalin) in reducing cognitive symptoms in patients diagnosed at least 3 months ago with a traumatic brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Qualified candidates must be between the ages of 18 – 55, able to come to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital- Boston for 6 visits over ~ 18 weeks and not currently taking Galantimine, Ritalin, Addrell, and some other mediations.  Subjects will be compensated for their time in the study.

I want to thank you for the care and therapy you have given to me. I have come a long way since I first came to Spaulding. I know I will miss my nurses and therapists. I look  leaving Spaulding as a step closer to Graduation Day - the day I can go home. Again, thanks for all your help.

Kathy K.

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