Brain Injury Update - May 2013 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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May 2013 Update:
Brain Injury

Advancing Ability™ Through Novel Brain Injury Rehabilitation

RIC's Brain Injury CareRIC’s Brain Injury medical and rehabilitation experts take a tailored approach to patient plans. They base them on the patient’s specific injury, not on an arbitrary rating scale. 

At RIC’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation program, the multidisciplinary care team takes an individualized approach when developing rehabilitation programs for patients. RIC tailors our approach to the anatomy of the specific injury, resulting functional deficits, and the expected patient outcomes.

A Different Approach

“It is a more detailed, subtle and sophisticated understanding of injury,” said Dr. David Ripley, Medical Director of RIC’s Brain Injury Medicine & Rehabilitation Program. “Most brain injury and rehabilitation programs do not follow this approach.”

Dr. Ripley, a nationally recognized physician in Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation, joined RIC in July 2012 and brought this novel approach with him. The standard approach, he said, is to develop rehabilitation plans based on the results of an arbitrary functional rating scale.

"By starting with the anatomy of the patient’s injury and then moving to the resulting functional deficits, doctors, nurses and therapists can then develop a plan that will be most effective in improving the patient’s outcomes," Ripley said.

Furthermore, the doctors, nurses and therapists who treat patients with brain injuries at RIC are specialized in brain injury rehabilitation. As a result, they are well versed in what to expect, how to manage patients in therapy and how to help them address their functional deficiencies.

Dr. Ripley added that RIC patients benefit from the access to professionals involved in the most cutting-edge research, the potential to take part in research studies and follow-up care in RIC’s extensive DayRehabCenters® network.

“They start right with inpatient downtown and have follow-up care closer to home in their communities.”

Brain Injury Research Aims to Boost Individual Outcomes

RIC's Brain Injury ResearchUnder the new leadership of Dr. Jordan Grafman, RIC’s Brain Injury Research Program is focused on the study of brain function and anatomy, which dovetails with RIC’s individualized approach to patient care.

With the addition of Jordan Grafman, PhD, to lead the Brain Injury Research Program, RIC has dedicated itself to research specific to brain function, anatomy and other factors that affect patient outcomes after brain injury.

Dr. Grafman has spent more than 30 years studying brain injury. By studying the factors that affect a patient’s outcomes, Dr. Grafman aims to translate his research into more effective, targeted rehabilitation.

Research into Genetic Predisposition

In the future, this could include research into the genetic factors affecting neuroplasticity – the reorganization of the brain after injury. By identifying brain injury patients who might be genetically predisposed to inferior outcomes, Dr. Grafman says, doctors and therapists can better target the amount and intensity of therapy they may need compared to other individuals, even those with identical injuries.

This is an exciting time for brain injury research at RIC and its application to patient care and better outcomes for people with brain injuries. By integrating research and patient care, we will Advance Human Ability™ for generations.

See video of Dr. Grafman discussing many brain-injury topics.

RIC eCademy® Webinars Focus on Acquired Brain Injury

RIC's Brain Injury EducationRegister now for the "Impairments in Executive Functioning: Implications for Rehabilitation" webinar to be held Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Instructor: Kathryn Trent Borio, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Outpatient Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Executive functions direct and organize cognitive and emotional processes, which enable individuals to regulate their behavior and attain their goals (Ready, et. al, 2001). Impairments in executive functions often result in diminished ability to set and attain realistic goals due to poor self monitoring and evaluation of performance. Individuals with executive dysfunction exhibit poor problem solving and ability to change behavior in order to obtain best possible outcomes and solutions. Rehabilitation professionals can manage executive functions to provide patients with an optimal rehabilitation course and to facilitate accurate self appraisal and attainment of goals. This course will assist allied health and nursing professionals with identifying impairments in executive functions and implementing strategies to allow for best possible outcomes in rehabilitation.

Register here for the "Impairments in Executive Functioning: Implications for Rehabilitation" webinar.

Or, see our entire RIC Academy Webinar and Course Schedule here.

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About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Founded in 1953, RIC has been designated the “No. 1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, bionic medicine, musculoskeletal medicine and technology transfer. The AbilityLab — RIC’s new, state-of-the-art research hospital, will open in March 2017. 

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