CORE Foundation
400 Old Hwy 290
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
512-894-0801

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CORE Health Foundation News:

CORE Health Foundation receives $120,000 for Resilient Mind Research Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The CORE Health Foundation has secured $120,000 from private donors to help fund preliminary research of five individuals with traumatic brain injury. Through these generous donations, the research is now set to begin in August. The Foundation’s vision is to collaborate with other like-minded individuals that can help to make the mission of the CORE Health Foundation possible.

Until recently, scientists believed brains were hard-wired and that therapies could only compensate for brain damage, not repair it. But new discoveries prove that the brain has a natural ability to redevelop far greater than previously believed. Over the past few years, the Foundation’s research partners —Dr. Erin Bigler, Dr. Jim Misko, and Eric Makowski—came together through their work at CORE Health Care to discuss this promising new research. The concept of Neuroplasticity was just emerging in the field of neuroscience as the profound idea that the adult human brain continues to develop throughout life. These developments resulted in a new series of initiatives that would further brain injury research. Additionally a later partnership with the Fulton Supercomputing Lab at BYU, which enables complex 3-D brain imaging analysis in minutes (rather than years) led to plans for the Resilient Mind Research.

Through a partnership with CORE Health Care, The CORE Health Foundation’s Resilient Mind Research bridges academic research with real-world patient care in community residential rehabilitation facilities and foster a seamless transition between research and patient care. As the first to combine cutting-edge neuroscience with the most modern clinical care, The CORE Health Foundation will be able to provide results faster than either can alone. By uncovering the treatment factors that support this ‘neuroplasticity’—the brain’s ability to change—and applying them to rehabilitative efforts, The CORE Health Foundation is poised to dramatically change the treatment of brain injuries.

Dr. Jim Misko stated, “Through clinical research trials, we will combine advanced neuroimaging technologies with real-time treatment protocols, enabling us to determine immediately if a therapy is working to redevelop an injured patient’s brain. That immediacy allows for more flexibility in treatment and real-time adjustments that result in faster patient recovery. Harnessing the potential of neuroplasticity offers tremendous opportunity to treat not just brain injuries, but other brain conditions as well, including mental illness, substance abuse, dementia, and aging. By bringing brain recovery therapies out of the lab and directly to patients, our research can change the human condition.”

The preliminary study will evaluate the neuroplastic changes in patients participating in an enhanced fitness program during post-acute brain injury rehabilitation. The goal is to evaluate how the brain changes in response to an aerobic fitness program added to the standard post-acute rehabilitation program. Each participant will receive an individualized program of 45 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week supervised by a licensed physical therapist in addition to an interdisciplinary mix of cognitive, speech, occupational, vocational, physical and psychological therapies provided in the standard program at CORE Health Care. Prior to beginning the study, each participant will undergo a neuropsychological evaluation, X-ray and high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). At the conclusion of a five month period, the patient will then undergo a second MRI and neuropsychological evaluation to assess the effectiveness of this type of rehabilitation to their brain’s anatomical structure and functionality. It is hypothesized that this intensive cardiovascular exercise combined with tested rehabilitation therapies will for the first time be shown on neuro-images of the brain allowing for long-term improvements for the individual with a traumatic brain injury.

Currently, the majority of research in the field is conducted in a university on animals or in an acute hospital setting but very little is understood about research in a community residential rehabilitation program. In general most residential programs do not follow the latest research and do not base their treatment plans and outcomes along those lines. Through the Resilient Mind research data, the CORE Health Foundation has set the goal of pushing the field to change their standard of care with the focus of teaching insurance companies and accreditation boards what to expect and demand of rehabilitation facilities. The latest developments in neuroplasticity research has reenergized therapists and brought excitement back to healthcare partners as rehabilitation can become more efficient and effective for patients.

Dr. Misko concluded, “For the first time we are on the cusp of unlocking the door to actually use the word CURE when discussing a brain injury, mental illness or abnormal aging. The Resilient Mind research allows us the opportunity to give families hope based in science and make an unpredictable, difficult situation better over time.”

For more information about the Resilient Mind Research and the CORE Health Foundation visit www.resilientmind.org or contact (512) 894-0801 or nharmon@corehealthfoundation.org

 

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CORE Health Foundation is a disability advocacy non-profit that facilitates research. The organization was founded in 2006 by leading experts in the fields of neuroplasticity and neuroimaging. www.corehealthfoundation.org

CORE Health Care is a specialty residential treatment provider of post-acute brain injury rehabilitation and long-term care for people with brain injuries, psychiatric disorders and development disabilities. CORE Health Care has been providing quality care for over 25 years in Dripping Springs, TX. www.corehealth.org