New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research funds study of memory deficits post TBI

Montclair State University and Kessler Foundation researchers explore treatments for long-term memory impairments in individuals with traumatic brain injury

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Credit: Kessler Foundation/Jody Banks

East Hanover, N.J. – November 30, 2020. Researchers at Montclair State University and Kessler Foundation received a three-year $456,710 grant from the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research to develop treatment interventions for the deficits in long-term memory that hinder recovery after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Joshua Sandry, PhD, at Montclair State and Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD, at Kessler Foundation, will collaborate on the study titled, “Cognitive and Neural Mediators of Working and Long-Term Memory Impairments in TBI.”

Dr. Sandry, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is the director of the Cognition and Neurocognitive Disorders Research Laboratory, at Montclair State where he focuses his research on cognitive domains with an emphasis on attention and memory in both healthy and clinical populations. Dr. Dobryakova, research scientist in the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation, conducts clinical research in populations with cognitive dysfunction caused by traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis, incorporating the latest techniques available at the research-dedicated Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation.

TBI can result in considerable difficulty learning and remembering new information and long-term memory impairment is one of the most common negative cognitive consequences of injury. Thus, there is a strong need to develop new clinical treatments to alleviate symptoms of impaired long-term memory. Unfortunately, effective treatments for memory problems are limited. This shortcoming may be partially a result of inadequate knowledge about the underlying cognitive and neural processes that contribute to memory loss following injury.

This study is a foundational step in the development of innovative treatment strategies directed at process-specific remediation of the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie long-term memory impairment in TBI. Discoveries will potentially improve the quality of life for individuals with TBI-related cognitive disability, both within and outside of New Jersey.

“To develop a strong foundation for treatment, it is crucial to clarify the dysfunctional processes that underlie memory impairment in TBI,” said Dr. Dobryakova. “Recently we reported that inefficient processing in working memory may partially underlie acquisition deficits observed in TBI,” she explained. “This study builds on these findings and aims to translate updated methodological approaches and theoretical views from cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology to improve our understanding of memory problems in TBI.”

Kessler Foundation is actively recruiting volunteers for research studies in TBI and other disabling conditions. Find out more at https://kesslerfoundation.org/join-our-research-studies

Funding: New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research CBIR20IRG027 CBIR20IRG027-KF

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About the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research
The New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research promotes the necessary research that will result in the treatment and cure for traumatic injuries of the brain, thereby giving hope to an ever increasing number of residents who suffer the debilitating effects of this injury. To achieve these goals the Commission will encourage and promote significant, original research projects in New Jersey emphasizing nerve regeneration as a means to a cure for brain injury through the funding of approved research projects at qualifying research institutions in the state. In addition, the Commission will establish and maintain, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health, a central registry of all persons who sustain traumatic brain injuries. The New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research, whose members are appointed by the Governor, was established on January 2, 2004, with the passage of the “Brain Injury Research Act” by the New Jersey State Legislature.

About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes–including employment–for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

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For more information on Kessler Foundation’s research, visit KesslerFoundation.org.

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Contacts:

Carolann Murphy, PA;
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[email protected]

Media Contact
Carolann Murphy
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