Research

Funded Projects


Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS)

Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

TBIMS is a multi-center collaborative project which aims to monitor and improve long term outcomes for individuals with traumatic brain injury through enrollment of survivors into a national database, multi-center “modular” projects, and several single center studies. TBIMS research is responsible for almost 500 peer-reviewed publications and has facilitated the development of TBI medical care guidelines, comprehensive diagnostic procedures, rehabilitation approaches, and more. Within the 16 TBIMS centers throughout the nation, exceptional rehabilitation additionally serves to improve injury treatment and outcomes for future patients.

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Multi-Center Evaluation of Memory Remediation after TBI with Donepezil (MEMRI-TBI-D)

Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

Memory deficits are among the most common chronic and functionally important consequences of TBI. Research studies performed over the last 20 years suggest that memory problems after TBI are the result of a change in the amount of a chemical in the brain, acetylcholine, that helps people learn and remember information. Donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibiting medication, improves memory performance in adults with neurological conditions by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. This trial will study the effects of donepezil 10 mg daily on verbal memory problems among adults with TBI in the subacute or chronic recovery period. MEMRI-TBI aspires to become the definitive study addressing the question of whether donepezil is effective in treating posttraumatic memory deficits.

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Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI)

National Institutes of Health

trackThe global aim of Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) is to test and refine Common Data Elements (CDEs), neuroimaging standards, and best practices for genetics and proteomics in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) studies. The investigators will create and expand existing repositories for patient data to provide necessary materials for the improvement of clinical research for the entire spectrum of TBI. Ultimately, data collected in TRACK-TBI will aid in the determination of which tests, treatments, services, and classifications are effective and appropriate for which TBI.

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Effects of Huperzine A in Treatment of Moderate to Severe TBI

Department of Defense

Huperzine A, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with neuroprotective qualities, is suspected to aid in the improvement of memory functioning in patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. With the use of Huperzine A in moderate to severe TBI patients, this trial aims to determine whether Huperzine A, as compared with placebo, would have an effect on cognitive and functional deficits after TBI. Additionally, we aim to determine whether use of Huperzine A in these patients can change brain activity (as indexed by EEG and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS), and reduce prevalence/frequency of post-traumatic seizures. Finally, we aim to evaluate the safety of Huperzine A in this population as compared with placebo.

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TBI Endpoints Development Award

Department of Defense

TBI is a multifaceted condition, and as of 2015, no drug or device has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat acute TBI.  In collaboration with the FDA, TBI Endpoints Development (TED) researchers will examine existing datasets from thousands of athletes, soldiers and the broader population to identify which current measures are most effective, and validate these measures or “endpoints” of brain injury and recovery. The TED team is comprised of leading academic clinician-scientists, industry leaders in biotechnology and imaging technology, patient advocacy organizations, and philanthropies.The lead site is the University of California, San Francisco.

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Central Thalamic Stimulation for Traumatic Brain Injury

National Institutes for Health

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) afflicts hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, producing chronic cognitive disabilities that lack effective treatment. Preliminary studies with TBI patients and non-human primates suggest that these cognitive disabilities may be due to disrupted circuit function in the brain, specifically involving impaired connections between the thalamus and the frontal cortex. Working with a group of TBI patients who can function independently but remain limited by chronic cognitive impairment, the study team aims to build on these studies, using the latest device technology to deliver deep brain stimulation to the thalamus. The researchers hope to obtain a variety of behavioral and electrophysiological data to inform development of a next-generation device therapy for cognitive impairment associated with TBI.

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