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Research Participation Opportunities

Finding new treatments for people with disabilities

Thank you for your interest in stroke, brain injury, and spinal cord injury medical research at the Casa Colina Research Institute (CCRI). Casa Colina patients and other community members who meet certain criteria may apply to participate in our studies. The purpose of each study is to gain a better understanding of new technologies and treatment methodologies, with the goal of improving medical and rehabilitation outcomes. Below are the current studies being conducted at CCRI.

Spinal Cord Injury Virtual Recreation Program

This program provides online social and leisure opportunities for participants with SCI. Participants will utilize “Connection Coaches,” assistive technology, and more through virtual classes.

To be eligible, you must have:

Once enrolled, you must:

  • Have a spinal cord injury
  • Complete at least one virtual class (1 hour)
  • Complete a pre- and post-testing over the phone

Biomarkers of Thalamic LIFUP in Chronic Disorders of Consciousness

This study investigates the effectiveness of Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Pulsation (LIFUP) therapy on improving consciousness recovery after severe brain injury.

To be eligible, you must have:

  • Diagnosis of vegetative or minimally conscious state based on an expert assessment
  • +3 months post-injury for non-traumatic etiologies; +12 months for traumatic etiologies
  • No history of neurological disorder (other than brain injury); no dependence on ventilator

Impact of Neuromodulation on Language Impairments in Stroke Patients

This study explores the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in treating post-stroke aphasia. We will also look at who will benefit most from this non-invasive intervention.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have diagnosed aphasia due to ischemic (blockage) or hemorrhagic stroke
  • Be 12 months or more from date of stroke

Participants will receive:

  • Free speech therapy and copies of MRI reports

Fast Training to Promote Recovery of Arm Movement Post-stroke

This study evaluates the effectiveness of many fast repetitions of specific arm movements to improve the speed, smoothness, and accuracy of motor movement for individuals who experience post-stroke hemiplegia (weakness on one side of the body).

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have some ability to move arms and follow simple instructions
  • Be 6 months or more from date of ischemic (blockage) stroke

Participants will receive:

  • Free physical therapy and copy of MRI report

In Search of Biomarkers for the Recovery of Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury

This study seeks to better understand recovery from after traumatic brain injury by analyzing the biomarkers present after injury in order to provide more personalized treatment plans for these patients.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have or have had moderate to severe brain injury
  • Have intact use of dominant hand and do not have receptive or expressive language impairments (aphasia)

Participants will receive:

  • Copies of MRI reports and $50 every six months ($200 total)

Are You Tetraplegic? Are You Interested in Controlling a Computer Using Thought?

This study seeks individuals with paralysis to control a computer using thought alone. Subjects with tetraplegia will learn to control the computer interface with the aid of the study team.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Live within one hour of Casa Colina and be able to attend 3-5 times a week for at least a year (transportation available at no cost)
  • Have electrodes implanted surgically and then removed after one year
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