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Producing New Knowledge for Treating Injury- and Illness-Related Disabilities

How can we help those with disabilities resulting from injury or illness live better lives? This is the question our physical medicine & rehabilitation (PM&R) research faculty and staff are answering every day through investigational and interventional trials – involving both adult and pediatric patients.

With 100 years of combined research experience, our PM&R team is comprised of renowned research and clinical experts in the following fields:

  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson disease
  • Stroke
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

Collaborating to Learn

In addition to working with in-house investigators, our PM&R team also collaborates with industry sponsors, governmental organizations and private foundations. They choose to work with our team for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Access to a large and diverse population of patients (one of the largest in the nation)
  • Our state-of-the-art research lab with biometric and molecular research expertise and equipment
  • The reputation of our researchers, who are globally recognized as experts in their respective fields and who’ve been published in a significant number of first tier journals

Our recent study areas include:

  • Investigational trials utilizing stem cells for newly spinal cord injured (SCI) persons and stroke victims as far as 7.5 years out from injury
  • Novel technology (e.g., wearable devices) for gait and balance interventions
  • Neuromodulation programs focusing on post-stroke shoulder pain
  • Prospective, longitudinal study of post brain injury – in its 20th year of data collection – to expand treatment and outcomes knowledge following traumatic brain injury
  • Investigational trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational nutrition program in preventing cardiovascular disease for spinal cord injured individuals
  • Neuro-Spinal Scaffold™ device trial for probable benefit for newly injured SCI patients

Looking at the Complete Picture of Disability

When it comes to exploring new and better ways to treat disabilities, it’s not solely about physical healing. It’s also about psychological healing. Our PM&R team takes a “neurons to neighborhoods” approach to this, trying to understand what’s happening at the cellular level in a patient’s brain and what that means with reintroduction to their community.

Our team also provides patients the latest information and resources related to:

  • Steps to recovery
  • Variables that impact adjustment and outcomes after disability and throughout the patient’s lifespan – including patient, provider and scientist collaboration
  • Training on brain injury for our community (through the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina and Carolinas Rehabilitation)

Our PM&R Research team is dedicated to helping patients recover both physically, cognitively and psychologically from their injury- and illness-related disabilities. Giving every patient an opportunity to live a better and more fulfilling life is what drives our work.