Research & Clinical Trials

Clinical Research at Spaulding

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network clinical research projects include studies related to:

 

 

Aging

Mobility - Jonathan Bean, MD, MS

Dr. Bean's research focuses upon the amelioration and prevention of mobility related disability among older adults. His current research focuses on identifying modifiable impairments underlying mobility decline in the elderly, as well as developing rehabilitative interventions to prevent mobility related disability among at risk populations, such as those with musculoskeletal disorders. He has expertise in exercise physiology, human performance and epidemiology. His work is funded through both the National Institutes of Health and Private Foundations.

Cardiovascular Research - J. Andrew Taylor, PhD

The Cardiovascular Research Program is focused on the study of changes in cardiovascular function associated with healthy aging and age related diseases. Current studies are investigating the mechanisms of these changes as well as interventions such as exercise and statin treatment to prevent or overcome cardiovascular declines associated with coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke.

Assistive Technologies

Brain-Computer Interfaces - Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD

Dr. Hochberg is working on the BrainGate Neural Interface System to determine whether individuals with quadriplegia might be able to control a computer cursor by thought alone. The studies are recruiting people with spinal cord injury, brainstem stroke, muscular dystrophy, and ALS.

Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems  - Joe T. Giacino, PhD

As one of 16 Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) across the U.S., Spaulding is a recognized leader in medical research and patient care. All TBI Model Systems work together to improve patient care, maintain a national database, provide long-term follow up, participate in independent and collaborative research and provide continuing education to individuals and families, healthcare professionals and the community-at-large. Please visit www.sh-tbi.org for more information.

Cardiovascular Laboratory Research - J. Andrew Taylor, PhD

The Cardiovascular Research Laboratory is pursuing research into potential physiologic explanations for the intrinsic ability of the blood vessels in the brain to "auto-regulate" blood flow. Current research is characterizing potential mechanisms for this autoregulation and how it may be compromised after traumatic brain injury, potentially resulting in characteristic symptoms of headache and dizziness.

Huperzine A for the Treatment of Cognitive, Mood, and Functional Deficits after Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Study – Ross Zafonte, DO

Recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury can be frustrating and challenging. The life changes that occur as a result of this injury affect both the patient and their caregiver. Sometimes, patients struggle with managing everyday events as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBI survivors can experience difficulty with memory, attention, and learning.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston is recruiting volunteers to participate in a 1-year (7 visits) research program. The purpose of the program is to investigate the effects of a dietary supplement, Huperzine A (Chinese club moss), on memory and learning in people with TBI.

Qualified candidates must be non-smoking, men and women, 18 to 65 years of age who have sustained a traumatic brain injury less than 1 year ago and still experience difficulties with memory and learning new things. Study participants must be able to come to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown for the 7 visits over a period of 1 year.

All study-related procedures will be provided at no cost to you. For each office visit, you will receive compensation for the cost of travel and time. Parking costs are covered. All participants will be closely monitored under a doctor’s supervision.  For more information or to see if you might qualify, contact Laura Burns at lburns2@partners.orgClick here for more information.

Multicenter Evaluation of Memory Remediation after TBI with Donepezil (MEMRI Study) – Ross Zafonte, DO

Researchers at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston are currently conducting a 14 week (4 visit) study to assess the effectiveness of a medication (donepezil) in reducing memory problems in patients diagnosed at least 6 months ago with a traumatic brain injury. Qualified candidates must be 18-60 years of age and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury between 6 – 36 months ago. Subjects currently taking Donepezil, Galantimine or oral contraceptives for birth control will be excluded.

All study-related procedures will be provided at no cost to you. For each study visit, you will receive compensation for your time. Parking vouchers will be provided for each visit. All participants will be closely monitored under a doctor’s supervision. Subjects will be compensated up to $120 for their time in the study. For more information or to see if you might qualify, contact Laura Burns at lburns2@partners.orgClick here for more information.

Researchers at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston are currently conducting a 14 week (4 visit) study to assess the effectiveness of a medication (donepezil) in reducing memory problems in patients diagnosed at least 6 months ago with a traumatic brain injury. Qualified candidates must be 18-60 years of age and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury between 6 – 36 months ago.  Subjects currently taking Donepezil, Galantimine or oral contraceptives for birth control will be excluded.
All study-related procedures will be provided at no cost to you. For each study visit, you will receive compensation for your time.  Parking vouchers will be provided for each visit. All participants will be closely monitored under a doctor’s supervision.  Subjects will be compensated up to $120 for their time in the study.

Burn Injury

Jeffery Schneider, MD

Dr. Schneider oversees a variety of research studies in the field of burn rehabilitation.  Current clinical studies involve the use of novel robotic and computer gaming technology to treat burn contractures and an investigation of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat burn pain.  In addition, the burn rehabilitation research group is investigating long term outcomes of burn survivors utilizing a national rehabilitation dataset and by examining the experiences of a unique cohort of survivors of a large-scale fire.

Burn Injury Model System
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital was selected as a Burn Injury Model System site by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for October 2012-September 2017. In collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children – Boston, this funding allows clinicians and researchers to improve both regional and national understanding of burn injury treatment models. Each Burn Model System site contributes to the national Burn Model Systems Database to foster a better understanding of long-term health outcomes. For additional information on the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System please go to www.bh-bims.org.

Motion Analysis

Paolo Bonato, PhD

Spaulding's Motion Analysis Laboratory combines laboratory and field assessments focused on biomechanics, wearable sensors and robotics assessments to enhance mobility in individuals with mobility limiting conditions caused by age, illness, or trauma. Research topics include cerebral palsy, muscle coordination in healthy subjects and stroke survivors, use of robotic exoskeletons for gait retraining and upper limb motion, restoration of gait in amputees, home monitoring via wearable sensors of individuals with mobility limiting conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke and COPD. For more information, please go to: http://www.spauldingnetwork.org/research/motion-analysis-lab.aspx or http://srh-mal.net/

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury Model System
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Program was selected as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System site by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for October 2011-September 2016. This funding allows Spaulding clinicians and researchers to improve both regional and national understanding of SCI treatment models. Each SCI Model Systems site contributes to the national SCI Model Systems Database for a better understanding of long-term health outcomes. For additional information on Spaulding Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Model System please go to www.sh-sci.org.

Cardiovascular Research Laboratory - J. Andrew Taylor, PhD
Dr. J. Andrew Taylor, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Lab, oversees this research project which will determine the effectiveness of an unique aerobic exercise paradigm (hybrid FES-rowing) as an intervention to promote improved health and function in individuals with chronic SCI and to explore this form of exercise as a prevention for the declines that occur within the first years after acute SCI. Our primary outcomes relate to exercise capacity and cardiovascular risk, however given the range of effects exercise can have, we are examining secondary measures of bone density, pulmonary function, psychological effect, social integration, and clinical status.

Leslie Morse, DO

Dr. Morse is working on project funded by NIH and the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network entitled "Neuro-Osteogenic Interactions Following Spinal Cord Injury". The purpose of this project is to investigate the pathophysiology of bone loss associated with human neurological disorders, including spinal cord injury.

Best Hospital 2014

Spaulding is ranked 6th among rehabilitation hospitals by US News & World Report.

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