Frontal lobe recovery
We have recently completed a study on the recovery of frontal cerebral activity following traumatic brain injury. Frontal lobe functioning is associated with many cognitive abilities such as the ability to control impulses, so that an individual can stop and think before they make a response. The frontal region of the brain is vulnerable to injury during a traumatic event, and thus many individuals have difficulty with impulse control following this type of injury. Our continuing commitment to research helps us develop more effective treatments for recovering brain function after injury.
Patterns of Brain Activity
This video demonstrates the patterns of brain activity that are associated with the ability to control responses, often negatively affected by traumatic brain injuries.
Language recovery and visual abilities following a stroke
The research currently focuses on how the brain reorganizes following a stroke. Determining which type of treatment may be most effective for improving brain recovery and therefore recovery of language and visual functions is crucial.
Activity on the Left Side of Brain
This video demonstrates the activity of the left side of the brain that is associated with the recovery in the ability to name objects followed by a stroke.
Under the direction of Dr. Patrick Plenger, one of our own clinical neuropsychologists, Pate is currently conducting research on recovery of brain activity following an injury using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy or fNIRS. fNIRS works by shining an array of infrared light beams onto the scalp. These lights are held in place by what looks like a shower cap. The light goes through the skin and bone of the head, and, depending upon how much oxygen is present in the blood, it is either scattered or absorbed in the cortex (the grey matter of the brain).
Since nerves in the brain (neurons) need more oxygen when they are working, this system is able to measure neuron activity by measuring increases and decreases in oxygen. fNIRS provides an alternative to the use of MRI for measuring brain activity, and allows the patient greater freedom of movement. The FDA has considered this technology safe, and it is even used in newborn infants.
In conjunction with a doctoral student from University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), we are presently working with UTA researchers with the goal of using fNIRS in treatment of patients with various types of acquired brain injuries.