Until recently, scientists believed brains were hard-wired and that therapies could only compensate for brain damage, not repair it. But new discoveries prove that the brain has a natural ability to redevelop far greater than previously believed. Several years ago, Dr. Misko and Dr. Bigler discussed this promising new research as the concept of Neuroplasticity was just emerging in the field of neuropsychology as the profound idea that the adult human brain could change.
Dr. Misko had always been puzzled why certain developmental psychologists discussed development ending at childhood and others like Erik Erikson believed that we develop throughout our lifespan. He continued to track the latest research in the field and was frustrated with the lack of research conducted in a community rehabilitation setting as he knew that this location had the most long lasting effects on a person’s quality of life and independence following injury. These developments resulted in a new series of initiatives that would further brain injury research. Additionally a later partnership with the Fulton Supercomputing Lab at BYU, which enables complex 3-D brain imaging analysis in minutes (rather than years) led to plans for the Resilient Mind Research.
Through a partnership with CORE Health Care, The CORE Health Foundation’s Resilient Mind Research bridges academic research with real-world patient care in community residential rehabilitation facilities and foster a seamless transition between research and patient care. As the first to combine cutting-edge neuroscience with the most modern clinical care, The CORE Health Foundation will be able to provide results faster than either can alone. By uncovering the treatment factors that support this ‘neuroplasticity’—the brain’s ability to change—and applying them to rehabilitative efforts, The CORE Health Foundation is poised to dramatically change the treatment of brain injuries.
Through clinical research trials, we will combine advanced neuroimaging technologies with real-time treatment protocols, enabling us to determine immediately if a therapy is working to redevelop an injured patient’s brain. That immediacy allows for more flexibility in treatment and real-time adjustments that result in faster patient recovery.
Harnessing the potential of neuroplasticity offers tremendous opportunity to treat not just brain injuries, but other brain conditions as well, including mental illness, substance abuse, dementia, and aging. By bringing brain-rewiring therapies out of the lab and directly to patients, our research can change the human condition.
The Foundation seeks to:
- Demonstrate how neuroplasticity can help the recovering brain create new neurons, regenerate pathways, and reconfigure neural networks.
- Advance treatment interventions in a manner that emphasizes restorative functioning of the brain.
- Share technical and treatment advances with other investigators with an emphasis on forming partnerships with stem cell researchers.
- Make neuroplasticity concepts common knowledge in the United States.
- Launch a ten-year national campaign to master neuroplasticity.
Currently, the majority of research in the field is conducted in a university on animals or in an acute hospital setting but very little is understood about research in a community residential rehabilitation program. In general most residential programs do not follow the latest research and do not base their treatment plans and outcomes along those lines.
Through the Resilient Mind research data, the CORE Health Foundation has set the goal of pushing the field to change their standard of care with the focus of teaching insurance companies and accreditation boards what to expect and demand of rehabilitation facilities. The latest developments in neuroplasticity research has reenergized therapists and brought excitement back to healthcare partners as rehabilitation can become more efficient and effective for patients.
For the first time we are on the cusp of unlocking the door to actually use the word CURE when discussing a brain injury, mental illness or abnormal aging. The Resilient Mind research allows us the opportunity to give families hope based in science and make an unpredictable, difficult situation better
For more information about the Resilient Mind Research please visit: www.resilientmind.org