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PHILADELPHIA (October 25, 2012) – Brain injury patients who can’t communicate the extent of their pain may be helped by new research being conducted at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Elkins Park. MossRehab, a member of Einstein Healthcare Network, is designating part of a $2.24 million federal grant to measure pain in traumatic brain injury patients with impaired consciousness or communication, to identify potentially undiagnosed complications and better modulate pain medication.
Another main focus of the MossRehab research, supported by the five-year grant from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research, is testing the effectiveness of text messages to mitigate depression and anxiety in post-acute brain injury patients by encouraging them to remain active in their homes, communities and social lives.
“They get cut out of normal life, lose friends and jobs and that can lead to a vicious cycle of depression,” said Tessa Hart, PhD, Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Moss Traumatic Brain Injury Model System. John Whyte, MD, PhD, is project co-director. “This treatment may have special applicability to people who may not have access to intensive face-to-face treatments for mental health due to geographical, cognitive, or financial barriers,” Dr. Hart said.
As part of the grant, MossRehab will collaborate with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania to conduct seminars in rural and underserved parts of the state for patients with brain injury and caregivers. MossRehab also will collaborate with seven other regional TBI rehabilitation facilities to conduct a consumer conference in 2014 for patients and families.
This is the fourth consecutive five-year grant MossRehab has received as a participant in a national effort to develop and disseminate new knowledge about the best treatment and assessment of traumatic brain injury. MossRehab and other brain injury rehabilitation centers across the country collaborate on research and contribute to a national database numbering more than 10,000 traumatic brain injury patients.
“We collaborate with researchers at the best centers for traumatic brain injury care all over the country to develop cutting-edge treatments and test their effectiveness,” Dr. Hart said. “The power is in having all the best people at the table talking about traumatic brain injury.”