The overall goal of this Phase II COBRE is to enable outstanding multidisciplinary collaborative research in recovery from stroke. Stroke recovery research is especially important to South Carolina, because a disproportionate rate of stroke incidence statewide results in undue economic, social and personal burdens from post-stroke disability. Our organizing concept is that increased understanding of the experience-dependent nature of neural plasticity will allow us to investigate and exploit inherent neural recovery processes, develop and translate novel mechanism-based interventional strategies, and ultimately improve the function and quality of life of individuals recovering from stroke.
The specific aims are to: 1) Expand the critical mass of funded investigators conducting stroke recovery research; 2) Strengthen innovative scientific cores that support stroke recovery research; and 3) Advance the ongoing development of an independent, sustainable, multidisciplinary thematic research program. A collaborative partnership continues to drive the COBRE in Stroke Recovery Center, composed of a PhD biomedical engineer/biomechanical scientist as Program Director and Principal Investigator, and an MD/clinical stroke expert as Associate Program Director, coalescing resources and disciplines from two distinct health professional schools, the College of Medicine and the College of Health Professions, at the Medical University of South Carolina. This COBRE has four scientific cores: 1) The Quantitative Behavioral Assessment & Rehabilitation Core provides standardized experience and quantitative measurement of behavior and function. 2) The Brain Stimulation Core provides a plasticity-modifying adjuvant for treatment and quantitative measurement of plasticity and neurophysiology. 3) The Neuroimaging Core provides quantitative measurement of plasticity and structural and functional connectivity. 4) The Clinical & Translational Tools and Resources Core provides access to the tools and resources necessary for innovative research with human subjects, including development of Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Database (CMD) in collaboration with MUSC?s CTSA that will be a novel research portal to support research and data sharing. Four new Junior Investigators (JIs) have been competitively selected for Phase II. Each is investigating an important aspect of stroke recovery using a suite of measurement tools rarely found in stroke recovery research settings. Key innovative features of this COBRE include: (a) the interprofessional, multidisciplinary expertise of the core leaders and Junior Investigators; (b) integration of motion capture and clinical assessment tools, brain stimulation tools, neuroimaging tools, and resources for biostatistics and data sharing applied to stroke recovery research; and (c) a comprehensive multiple source mentoring approach to prepare the JIs as future leaders in clinical/translational research in recovery from stroke. Extensive institutional support includes substantial flexible funds, new faculty recruitment and core enhancements to ensure the Center?s long-term success and viability.!
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and healthcare expense in the US, affecting ~795,000 people per year with a surviving cohort of ~7.2 million individuals, and costing ~$34 billion each year. Despite major progress in stroke prevention and acute treatment, little progress has been made in enhancing recovery. Effective rehabilitation interventions can minimize functional disability, improve quality of life and reduce costly long-term care expenditures.
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