The overall goal of the South Carolina Research Center for Recovery from Stroke (SCRCRS) is to enable outstanding multidisciplinary collaborative research in recovery from stroke. Stroke is of unique importance to South Carolina as a disproportionate rate of incidence results in undue economic/social burdens from post-stroke disability. Our organizing concept is that better 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) train and mentor a cadre of junior scientists who are skilled in multiple domains;2) develop innovative scientific core resources designed to advance stroke recovery research in animal and human studies;and 3) promote the long-term viability of the SCRCRS through development of multidisciplinary translational research programs and rigorous evaluation and improvement strategies. The Center is led by a multidisciplinary team, comprised of a PhD biomedical engineer/biomechanical scientist and an MD/clinical stroke expert, coalescing resources and disciplines from schools of medicine and allied health sciences. Scientific cores include the Quantitative Behavioral Assessment and Rehabilitation Core to provide standardized experience and quantitative measurement of behavior and function;Brain Stimulation Core to provide a plasticity modifying adjuvant for treatment and quantitative measurement of plasticity and neurophysiology;Neuroimaging Core to provide quantitative measurement of plasticity and structural and functional connectivity;and Clinical &Translational Tools and Resources Core to facilitate the development of a queriable, secure Stroke Clinical Registry Database via a robust interface with MUSC's CTSA. All Junior Investigators (Jls) will investigate some aspect of stroke recovery, with initial focus on upper extremity function, locomotion and alleviation of depression, using a suite of measurement tools rarely found in stroke recovery research settings. Innovative features of the Center include the interprofessional and multidisciplinary expertise of core leaders and Jls;the integration of motion capture and clinical assessment tools, brain stimulation tools, neuroimaging tools, and resources for biostatistics and patient record management applied to stroke recovery research;and a novel 'multiple source mentoring'approach to prepare the Jls as future leaders in clinical and translational research in recovery from stroke. Extensive institutional support - including flexible funds, new faculty recruitment an capital Improvements - will underwrite the Center's long-term success and viability.
Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability and healthcare expense, costing ~$40.9 billion in the US in 2007. It is the leading cause of long-term disability in the US, affecting -795,000 people/yr, with a surviving cohort of -6.5 million. 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 qualit of life and reduce costly long-term care expenditures.
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