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Traumatic Brain Injury

Although not as extensively studied as cognitive impairments, motor deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI) are both common and complex. However, motor deficits following TBI are usually assessed using coarse clinical rating scales that have two significant drawbacks. First, clinical tests lack the resolution to identify and track motor deficits that are subtle and/or complex. This problem is especially acute for TBI, where neuronal damage is generally diffuse and the resulting movement deficits often involve higher-order motor planning and decision making, even in the absence of significant lower-order movement abnormalities. Second, clinical tests generally provide little insight into the underlying mechanisms. The consequence of these two drawbacks is that motor rehabilitation, which is currently based on clinical tests, is far from optimized; it frequently ends before individuals have fully recovered, often lacks an understanding of the underlying motor control deficits, and does not take full advantage of the power of modern neuroimaging.

The goal of our research is to:

  1. Create clinical motor tests that are quantitative and have high resolution
  2. Correlate these quantitative clinical motor tests with the underlying abnormalities seen on neuroimaging