Our Research

Research focus areas of the Center include

  • Development of new repurposed pharmacological interventions for brain injuries 
  • Molecular mechanisms associated with neural injury
  • Cognitive rehabilitation following TBI
  • Vestibular and musculoskeletal impairment following brain injury
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurophysiological examination of associated with neural injury
  • Cognitive communication dysfunction following TBI

Recent Research Activity at The Neural Injury Center

Development of a comprehensive panel of objective tests to diagnose mild TBI (mTBI).

PIs: Drs. Patel, Rau, Santos and Mohapatra

This study will assess oculomotor function, a proprietary stabilometry/balance testing protocol, memory fatigue, and blood-based microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers.  These parameters will be assessed and correlated to determine efficacy in the diagnosis of both acute and chronic effects of mTBI.

Develop miRNA inhibitors to reduce neuropathology after TBI.

PIs: Drs. Patel and Rau

A study involving miRNA inhibition as a potential therapy to reduce neuropathology and cognitive deficits associated with TBI.

Development of a computer-based cognitive training (CCT) system for TBI subjects with cognitive impairment. A collaboration with VAST Next Generation Learning Company

PI: Dr. Erik Guzik

The goal is to develop a computer-based cognitive training (CCT) computer training program to lessen the cognitive impairment associated with TBI.

Complete the development and testing of a novel post-traumatic epilepsy diagnostic analysis program.  A collaboration with N-Site LLC

PI: Dr. Alex Philp

The development of post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) often follows TBI and, currently, there is no reliable method for identifying which TBI subjects will eventually develop PTE. This study will attempt to identify signature brain wave pattern(s) present in EEG recordings that indicate a high-risk for the development of PTE.

Development of a multi-factorial system of detection of mTBI related balance deficits. 

PIs:  Drs. Santos and Degani

The further development of clinical measures of body stability to identify balance deficits caused by mTBI.

Metacognitive deficits following mTBI

PIs:  Drs. Yoonhee and Santos

A study to explore deficits in metacognition following mTBI.

The Development of a Multi-Dimensional System of Oculomotor Evaluation for mTBI

PIs:  Drs. Rau and Santos

There is clear evidence that mTBI often results in abnormal oculomotor movement. This study will quantify these deficits and, further, develop a clinical testing protocol.

A community-based approach to identify barriers and culturally-effective interventions for early screening and diagnosis of mTBI in a Tribal and veteran population

PI: Cindi Laukes, MA

Both American Indian and veteran populations are at increased risk of TBI. This pilot study will utilize a mixed-method community-engaged survey approach to identify unique cultural barriers and help promote early screening and diagnosis.

Relation of intense language/cognitive intervention on community integration (planned)

PI:  Dr Off

This study will assess the effectiveness of an intensive cognitive rehabilitation program on community re-integration.

The use of theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on oculomotor and cognitive function following mTBI. (planned)

PI:  Dr. Mohapatra

Repetitive TMS stimulation has been used to treat depression and it has been proposed to affect deficits in oculomotor function and cognition. This pilot study plans to assess these effects.

Assessment of the Implementation of Dylan Steigers Protection of Youth Athletes Act (DSPYAA). (planned)

PI:  Dr. Moody

These proposed studies seek to obtain various compliance issues related to DSPYAA.


Coming soon

Please contact Catherine Off, Assistant Professor.

Catherine OFF is an assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and directs the Brain Resarch of Aphasia and Intensive Neurorehabilitation (BRAIN) Lab.

Please contact the Clinical Psychology Center or make an appointment with Craig McFarland, Assistant Professor, Clinical Neuropsychology.
neural injury center