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Kessler Foundation scientist receives National MS Society grant for new memory study

2013-03-27 14:42:56 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD awarded a $43,494 grant to study the efficacy of a new treatment for memory loss in MS

West Orange, NJ. March 28, 2013. The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society awarded Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, a $43,494 grant to study the efficacy of a new treatment for memory loss in MS. Dr. Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of  Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, is an expert in cognitive rehabilitation research in traumatic brain injury and MS. This one-year pilot project is titled, “Stylistic Memory Enhancement” (NMSS grant #GR391).

“Development of new strategies to improve memory in individuals with MS is an important area of research at Kessler Foundation,” said John DeLuca, PhD, VP of Research & Training.  Although cognitive symptoms such as memory loss are experienced by up to two-thirds of patients, relatively little research has been conducted in cognitive function in persons with MS.”

Dr. Chiaravalloti’s study will evaluate the clinical efficacy of a new memory treatment program aimed at improving learning and memory of information that patients need on a daily basis.  The study involves an 8-session treatment program.  The memory skills of participants will be tested before and after treatment. “If effective, this treatment could have a positive impact on the everyday cognitive functioning and overall quality of life of persons with MS,” said Dr. Chiaravalloti. 

Recent articles:

Chiaravalloti ND, Stojanovic-Radic J, Deluca J. The role of speed versus working memory in predicting learning new information in multiple sclerosis. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2013 Feb;35(2):180-91. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2012.760537.

Chiaravalloti ND. Could behavioral therapies target specific deficits in multiple sclerosis patients? Expert Rev Neurother. 2012 Jul;12(7):755-7. doi: 10.1586/ern.12.68.

About Dr. Chiaravalloti

Nancy D. Chiaravalloti, PhD, an expert in cognitive rehabilitation research is the Director of Neuropsychology, Neuroscience and Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation.  She is the Project Director for the Northern New Jersey TBI System, one of 16 TBI Model Systems funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (grant#H133A120030), a division of the Department of Education.  Dr, Chiaravalloti is associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School and a licensed psychologist in the states of New Jersey and New York.

About MS Research at Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation's cognitive rehabilitation research in MS is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National MS Society, NJ Commission of Brain Injury Research, and Kessler Foundation. Scientists in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation have made important contributions to the knowledge of cognitive decline in MS. Clinical studies span new learning, memory, executive function, attention and processing speed. Research tools include innovative applications of fMRI, iPADs, and virtual reality. Among recent findings are the benefits of cognitive reserve; correlation between cognitive performance and outdoor temperatures; the efficacy of short-term cognitive rehabilitation using modified story technique; and the correlation between memory improvement and cerebral activation on fMRI.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.

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Contacts:

Carolann Murphy, 973.324.8382, CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org

Lauren Scrivo, 973.324.8384, 973.768.6583 - c, LScrivo@KesslerFoundation.org