TxBDC NEWS - 2018

October 4, 2018
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards Over $13 Million in Young Investigator Grants to 200 Scientists Pursuing Innovative Mental Health Research

Crystal T. Engineer, Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas, will explore a potential treatment for auditory symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. People with autism often struggle to process speech, and experience hearing deficits even after training to strengthen their auditory skills. Using an established rat model of autism, Dr. Engineer will test whether such training has stronger effects when paired with stimulation of the vagus nerve, which contributes to sensory processing. She hopes to point toward better treatment for auditory deficits among people with autism, and to identify brain networks involved in the improvement of sound processing. Read More

September 27, 2018

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Paired With Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Chronic Stroke

We performed a randomized, multisite, double-blinded, sham-controlled pilot study. All participants were implanted with a VNS device and received 6-week in-clinic rehabilitation followed by a home exercise program. Randomization was to active VNS (n=8) or control VNS (n=9) paired with rehabilitation. Outcomes were assessed at days 1, 30, and 90 post-completion of in-clinic therapy. Read More

September 27, 2018
UT Dallas News Center

UT Dallas’ Enhanced Rehab for Stroke Doubles Movement Recovery

A novel therapy technique invented by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas has been shown in a pilot study to double the rate of upper limb recovery in stroke patients, a leap forward in treating the nearly 800,000 Americans who suffer strokes each year. Read More

July 18, 2018
Texas Health Journal

The Neurotriage Device

While serving in the Marine Corps, Dr. Robert Rennaker watched several of his friends suffer from traumatic brain injuries and realized modern medicine wasn’t equipped with the technology to help them fully recover from their injuries. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps and going back to school, Rennaker began studying neural engineering. His goal was, and is, to become part of the solution to these problems. Read More

May 31, 2018
UT Dallas Magazine

Fresh Approaches

In an era of increased opioid-related addiction and deaths, the way we treat all pain patients is under the microscope. From 2013 to 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent more than $1.9 billion to fund pain research. At stake, the well-being of more than 25 million U.S. adults who in 2012 reported suffering from daily chronic pain — a subset of which is affected by the ongoing opioid crisis. Read More

May 16, 2018
Psychology Today

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Enhances Brain Plasticity

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) enhances targeted neuroplasticity, helping the brain build stronger neural connections after a stroke, according to pioneering research from the University of Texas at Dallas. Using an animal model, the researchers have demonstrated for the first time that pairing VNS with a physical therapy task accelerates the recovery of motor skills. Read More

May 9, 2018
UT Dallas Research Blog

Dr. Seth Hays: Neuroplasticity and the Wandering Nerve

Dr. Hays manages the Targeted Neuroplasticity Lab at the Texas Biomedical Device Center where his research focuses on treating neurological disease by improving neuroplasticity. His most recent work focuses on rehabilitative training coupled with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), particularly in short bursts, to improve motor function after stroke. Read More

March 28, 2018
MD Magazine

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Assists in Stroke Recovery

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), in conjunction with conventional rehabilitation services, can double lasting recovery for forelimb supination and simple motor tasks, and improve the structural plasticity in motor networks for patients that have had a stroke.

A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas, led by Michael Kilgard, PhD, BSc, paired VNS with a physical therapy task to improve upper limb function in rodents, which results in doubled long-term recovery rates compared to the standard therapy methods. Read More

March 25, 2018

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Enhances Post-stroke Rehabilitative Training

Vagus nerve stimulation, paired with a physical therapy task, doubles long-term recovery rate relative to current therapy methods, new rodent research indicates. The study, from researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas, demonstrates a method to accelerate motor skill recovery after a stroke by helping the brain reorganize itself more quickly. Read More

March 22, 2018
UT Dallas News Center

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Boosts Post-Stroke Motor Skill Recovery

Dr. Seth Hays, Dr. Michael Kilgard and Eric Meyers PhD'17 collaborated on a study of vagus nerve stimulation's effects on stroke recovery. The results may be an important step toward creating guidelines for standardized usage of the technique for post-stroke therapy. Read More

March 16, 2018

Spinal Cord Injury: Is the vagus nerve our neural connectome?

The vagus nerve reports on the state of many of the organs in our body, including the heart, the lungs and the gut, and it relays this information to various neural control networks that unconsciously regulate internal organs. It has also been shown that artificial electric stimulation of the vagus nerve helps with recovery in animal models of stroke, tinnitus and spinal cord injury (De Ridder et al., 2014; Hays, 2016). Read More

February 2, 2018
The Dallas Morning News

Research universities drive job and wage growth in Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas anchors the tech industry in the North Dallas-Plano corridor. The university is known, in particular, for an outstanding engineering program developed with the help of funding from nearby telecommunications and defense firms. Read More

February 2, 2018
NBC News

Special Goggles Help Diagnose Possible Brain Injuries

A new device may be able to help doctors diagnose concussions on the sidelines of athletic fields.The Texas Biomedical Device Center has developed handheld portable device capable of quickly measuring an individual's visual tracking abilities.The high-tech pair of goggles is called Neurotriage and performs a quick baseline test for athletes and then follow up tests after an impact. Read More

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