Research Projects

Prospective Longitudinal Study of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS)-Analysis Using Modern Imaging, Neurocognitive and Psychological Testing

Funded by:  U.S. Department of Defense

Funding period: September, 2011-August, 2013

Gerald Voelbel, Ph.D., OT, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University


Project Abstract

There are nearly 1.7 million people each year in the united states that receive a brain injury. Approximately 75% of these individuals have mild TBI’s. The brain injury leads to cognitive, behavioral and emotional dysfunctions. There is a paucity of data that describes the longitudinal effects of cognitive and psychological changes mTBI. This study aims to provide information regarding cognitive and imaging correlates related to post-concussion symptoms and psychological recovery over a one year period. This study uniquely approaches mTBI evaluation by concurrently assessing neuro-imaging, neuropsychological and neurocognitive abilities. To determine the effects of mTBI on patients’ neurocognitive, neuropsychological and neuro-imaging findings, an established imaging protocol will be used in assessing post-concussion syndrome (PCS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study is designed to investigate mild traumatic brain injury (Concussions) longitudinally. We are using neuropsychological evaluations and neuroimaging techniques to understand the relationship between brain functions and brain integrity to the dysfunctions. One of the primary goals of the study is to understand which areas of the brain are related to the specific cognitive impairments and which areas of the brain that are disrupted that lead to post-traumatic stress. Post-traumatic stress can be a long-term disabling condition that can affect the quality of life as severely as a brain injury. It is the hope that this research will lead to treatments that can improve cognitive and emotional dysfunctions.