Social-environmental and Genetic Influences on TBI Recovery

Drs. Shari Wade and Brad Kurowski made important contributions to our understanding of influences on recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI) including social-environmental and genetic influences. They are the first to consider the combined influences of genetic vulnerability and environmental adversity in determining recovery trajectories following early TBI. Partnering with biostatistics, they have used novel statistical approaches to better understand neuropsychological profiles following TBI and trajectories of recovery over time.

Innovative Interventions for TBI Recovery

Drs. Brad Kurowski and Shari Wade expanded their work to identify evidence-based interventions to facilitate short and long-term recovery. Dr. Wade’s multi-center (Cincinnati, OH; Denver, CO, Cleveland, OH; and Rochester, MN) study evaluating the efficacy of web-based counselor assisted problem solving providing further insights into its effects on parent-child conflicts and social behavior. Results from Dr. Kurowski’s study of the benefits and biologic correlates of aerobic exercise in the management of post-concussion syndrome in children support the potential utility of aerobic exercise to hasten recovery in youth with persistent post concussive symptoms. Moreover, imaging findings provide tentative evidence that increased structural connectivity may be a biological correlate of behavioral recovery. Dr. Kurowski is working with collaborators to expand on these findings to better understand how physical activity influences early recovery after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children.

Modeling TBI Recovery in Animals

Dr. Nate Evanson obtained funding to examine the effects of environmental adversity and enrichment on traumatic brain injury (TBI) recovery using mouse models.

Awards and Recognitions

The International Pediatric Brain Injury Society recognized Dr. Shari Wade's contributions to the field of pediatric brain injury when they awarded her with the first Jane Gillett award at their inaugural conference in Liverpool, England. Dr. Wade was also recognized by the American Psychological Association Division of Rehabilitation Psychology for the paper that made the greatest contribution to the field.