SOURCE: Kessler Foundation
WEST ORANGE, NJ--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2013) - The Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation celebrates its grand opening on September 26. Kessler Foundation is now the only freestanding rehabilitation facility in the U.S. with a rehabilitation research-dedicated neuroimaging center.
"Our state-of-the-art Neuroimaging Center is designed to accelerate the pace of translational research that improves quality of life for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities caused by neurological illness and injuries," said Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation. "This new facility greatly expands our potential for collaborative projects with academic and research institutions in the U.S. and abroad."
The $6 million Neuroimaging Center is equipped with a powerful state-of-the-art 3T Siemens Skyra Scanner that is approved for scanning of the brain and spinal cord for Foundation research studies. With capabilities for structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI) and MR spectroscopy, researchers can gather information on the structure, tissue, density, and integrity of brain matter, evaluate damage to the spinal cord, and assess degree of neurorecovery. fMRI enables researchers to determine how the brain or spinal cord functions while a research participant is thinking or performing a task.
"Neuroimaging is one of the only objective ways to assess how an investigational treatment affects the brain or spinal cord which in turn, leads to improved outcomes for people with disabilities," said John DeLuca, Ph.D., vice president for Research and Training and director of the Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. "Objective data prove the efficacy of a tested treatment and support efforts to attain third-party reimbursement. Through the work of the Neuroimaging Center, life-changing treatments will be more widely available to people with disabilities. Funders are recognizing the leadership of Kessler Foundation in neuroimaging research, as evidenced by the increasing number of such grants awarded to researchers at the Foundation."
Ten new studies are scheduled at the Neuroimaging Center, totaling more than 600 scans. Current studies target improving the thinking, learning and memory of individuals with multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury; mobility and nerve regeneration in people with spinal cord injury; and aphasia in stroke survivors. Funding for these studies is being provided by National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, National MS Society, New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research, New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury Research and Kessler Foundation.
Glenn Wylie, D.Phil., associate director of the Neuroimaging Center, and Bing Yao, Ph.D., physicist and manager of the Center, will use best practices to study the effects of rehabilitation interventions on the brain. They will also work on establishing best practices for new applications of neuroimaging in rehabilitation research. Imaging sequences will be tailored to obtain optimal results. "Having an on-site research-dedicated scanner allows us to easily investigate new ideas, giving our research greater breadth," said Dr. Wylie. "With the addition of a physicist, our research also has greater depth, as we now have the ability to develop protocols and sequences that are particularly useful in the rehabilitation research setting, including analyzing pre- and post-treatment scans."
The Neuroimaging Center is at Kessler Foundation's second location, on the West Orange campus of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.