Traumatic Brain injuries (TBI) affect more than 1.5 million Americans each year. Over 75,000 of TBI survivors have significant deficits that render them unable to return to their educational or vocational settings. According to the Centers for Disease Control there are over 5.3 million Americans living with TBI related disabilities and over 40 million survivors world-wide. The majority of the patients are young adults, between the ages of 15-34. Children under 5 and older adults over 75 are also at high risk for TBI. These patients receive extensive rehabilitation in the area of cognition, which includes categorization, memory, attention, and psychosocial training.
Dr. Fofi Constantinidou, Director of the Neurocognitive Research Laboratory in the at the University of Cyprus and her collaborators study the effects of neurological disease or injury to the brain. Through initial funding from the Centre for Neuro Skills, Bakersfield, CA and the Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation, Pomona, CA, and subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Constantinidou has lead a team of researchers and clinicians and designed a clinical training tool, the Categorization Program (CP). The purpose of the CP is to improve cognitive abilities in survivors of brain injury. Dr. Constantinidou has been collaborating with rehabilitation centers around the country in order to test the effectiveness of the Categorization Program. The following centers have been participating in the clinical trials: The Centre for Neuro Skills, Bakersfield, CA, The Center for Comprehensive Services, Carbondale, IL, Bancroft NeuroHealth, Haddonfield, NJ and The Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation, Pomona, CA. Preliminary results and follow up randomized controlled trials indicate that the training is effective in improving categorization abilities in patients with brain injury.
The current goal of the project is to continue to enroll participants in the project in order to expand the clinical trials and study this innovative therapy program more extensively. The hope is that this project will provide information that will enhance the rehabilitation process of survivors of TBI and improve their quality of life.