Kessler Awarded $2.28 Million Federal Grant for Spinal Cord Injury Research
WEST ORANGE, N.J., Oct. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $2.28 million federal grant to Kessler Foundation. The five-year grant funds the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System (NNJSCIS), a comprehensive system of care, research, education and dissemination aimed at improving quality of life for people with spinal cord injury. The NNJSCIS is a cooperative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.
“Our collaborative system is excited to receive this recognition of our comprehensive services and research activities in the realm of spinal cord injury,” said Steven Kirshblum, MD, co-director of the NNJSCIS. “We look forward to continuing our dedication to individuals with these catastrophic injuries.” Dr. Kirshblum is medical director of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and director of SCI Services.
NNJSCIS collects patient data from the time of injury through long-term followup, which is contributed to the National SCI Statistical Center. Data are used to identify areas where investigation is needed.
“With this grant, we can continue to examine obstacles to recovery and full participation in our community,” said Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, co-director of the NNJSCIS and interim director of SCI Research at Kessler Foundation. “Everything changes for the person with spinal cord injury, not just mobility,” he stressed. “That’s why we also look at factors that are important to overall quality of life like access to medical care, pain management, employment and aging with a spinal cord injury. What we learn here in New Jersey furthers research for all people with spinal cord injury.”
Kessler will conduct a study of a combination therapy using dalfampridine–a drug recently approved to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis–with a standardized program of locomotor training, a rehabilitative intervention that has improved walking and other functional outcomes in persons with spinal cord injuries.
“I’m incredibly proud to represent the Kessler Foundation in Congress and to champion their tireless efforts to improve the lives of those living with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8). “This new research study has the potential to provide new breakthroughs in our understanding of spinal cord injury. It will surely add to the impressive body of work that Kessler Foundation and Kessler Institute have accomplished in improving rehabilitation for those affected by spinal cord injuries.”
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation is the largest public charity in the field of disability. Kessler Foundation Research Center advances care through rehabilitation research in its seven specialized laboratories under the leadership of noted research directors. Research focuses on improving function and quality of life for persons with injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic neurological conditions. Kessler Foundation Program Center fosters new approaches to the persistently high rates of unemployment among people disabled by injury or disease. Targeted grant making funds promising programs across the nation. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, people recovering from catastrophic injuries and stroke, and young adults striving for independence are among the thousands of people finding jobs and training for careers as a result of the commitment of Kessler Foundation.
About Kessler Institute
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, a division of Select Medical, provides comprehensive care and specialized treatment to address the complex needs of individuals with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, amputation, neurological diseases, cardiac recovery and orthopedic/musculoskeletal conditions. Kessler is one of only seven federally-designated Model Systems in the nation for the treatment and research of both traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Ranked as one of the top two rehabilitation hospitals in the nation and the best in the East by U.S.News & World Report, Kessler has three hospital campuses in West Orange, Saddle Brook and Chester, N.J., and more than 80 outpatient centers throughout the state.
For more information, visit www.kessler-rehab.com.
SOURCE Kessler Foundation