Translational Neuroscience

Translating basic science research into clinical application is a major challenge within biomedical sciences. With a stated commitment to Clinical Excellence, Education, and Research, Casa Colina provides a unique environment for the transfer of knowledge between researchers and clinicians. At the Casa Colina Research Institute, we conduct clinical studies that provide a foundation for developing, or directly test, novel therapeutic strategies for humans with nervous system disorders.

While numerous rehabilitative techniques are used to treat serious and potentially chronic cognitive and physical deficits, there remains a lack of available tools for effectively characterizing the temporal dynamics and individual variability of the brain’s response to therapeutic intervention. As such, the Casa Colina Research Institute seeks to identify useful biomarkers (molecular, imaging, and physiological) for recovery and treatment efficacy. Through this critical research, we are beginning to elucidate the mechanisms of activity, pathogenesis, and recovery for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury.

Current Research Studies

In search of biomarkers for the recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury

This study aims to better understand recovery from traumatic brain injury and identify biomarkers that will allow clinicians to predict outcomes following injury and to optimize individualized treatment plans.

Relation between pain and depression: preliminary study on neural pathways in patients with Fybromyalgia

Our researchers are exploring the association between brain structure and pain/depression levels before and after an eight-week Fybromialgia program offered at Casa Colina Hopsital and Centers for Healthcare.

Impact of increased sleep hygiene on patient outcome in acute rehabilitation setting

Scheduled rest and sleep seem to promote relaxation and reduction of stress levels. However, even though interventions to promote inpatient rest and sleep have been successfully trialed in critical care units, scant research exists to indicate whether this practice has any effect on the recovery from critical illness or injury in acute rehabilitation hospitals. Further research is therefore required to investigate the impact of increasing sleep hygiene on patient’s outcome in such setting.

Completed Research Studies

Evaluation of an augmentative and alternative communication intervention in individuals with aphasia

This study tests the effectiveness of an iPad-based intervention for individuals with aphasia. Autismate365 involves the use of visual scene displays, which employ interactive images to support and enhance communication and social interaction.