Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai garners $6 million NIH grant for concussion research

December 16, 2013

(New York, NY) December 16, 2013 - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai researchers have been awarded a major federal grant to determine the long-term clinical and neuropathological sequelae of single and repeated head injuries in non-athletes. People sustaining these injuries often develop poor coordination, slurred speech, and other symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson's disease, along with dementia many years later.

The grant, totaling $6 million over four years, funded by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is intended to build a more precise understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and traumatic brain injury in civilians over age 45 during their lifetime.

"The number of people in the community who experience one or more brain injuries is far greater than the number of elite athletes that we hear about," said the study's lead investigator, Wayne Gordon, PhD, Director of the Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai, and Jack Nash Professor, and Vice Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "We are enormously grateful to the National Institutes of Health for supporting this research.

With the grant, investigators hope to find a biomarker permitting early diagnosis while people are alive that will help lay the groundwork for the development of better treatments. The research is multidisciplinary and will permit analyses of the neuropsychology, neuroradiology, neurological, geriatric, and epidemiological of these disorders. All participants will undergo a uniform neurobehavioral assessment, an MRI scan, and a genomic analysis. Individuals who die during the study and who consent to brain donation will undergo advanced neuroimaging and extensive neuropathological exams after they die.

Currently, little is known about the natural history of traumatic brain injuries in civilians, according to Dr. Gordon. Investigators will use extensive resources from an ongoing study of brain aging, a population-based cohort study, Adult Changes in Thought (ACT), based at the University of Washington and Group Health Research Institute, both based in Seattle. The ACT study compiles medical, behavioral, and genetic data for all in the study, 20% of whom have mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. Mount Sinai's Brain Injury Research Center will study an additional group of patients.
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Collaborating institutions include the University of Washington, Group Health Research Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University, Martinos Imaging Center of Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. For a complete list of collaborator projects, see http://nih.gov/news/health/dec2013/ninds-16.htm

About the Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai

The primary focus of the Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai (BIRC-MS) is on addressing the challenges of living with traumatic brain injury, or TBI. In several recent studies, BIRC-MS has evaluated the effectiveness of interventions on the cognitive, emotional and behavioral functioning of people with brain injuries. The Center launched in 1987, has greatly expanded the knowledge base with respect to long-term challenges that people with TBI face, as well as approaches to leading better lives after injury.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services--from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12-minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org.
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The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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