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Social Distancing with MS or a TBI: Difficulties with Being Too Close and Too Far

In this episode of Kessler Foundation's podcast, Helen Genova, PhD, and Erica Weber, PhD, share information about “Social distancing with MS or a TBI: Difficulties with being too close and too far.”


At the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, Dr. Genova is the assistant director, who researches social cognition and emotion recognition in neurological disorders. Dr. Weber is a research scientist and clinical neuropsychologist in the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury. This podcast was hosted by our social media specialist Nicky Miller and Dr. Weber. 

Listen to the podcast, view the transcript and download this episode and others for free on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudPodbean, Spotifyor wherever you get your podcasts. 

Below is a blog about information in the podcast, written by Nicky Miller

To slow the spread of COVID-19, social distancing and sheltering at home has become the new reality. These measures are challenging for all Americans - with and without disabilities. However, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) may experience greater difficulty adapting to the immediate need of practicing social distancing.

In this podcast, Dr. Genova discusses how problems with social cognition (or the brain's ability to interpret and react to interactions with others) may be exacerbated while sheltering in place. Dr. Genova shares tips to reduce the impact of staying home on relationships in the household.

Dr. Weber provides insight on the effects of social isolation on individuals with MS or TBI, and shares resources for addressing mental health issues during this stressful time.

Below are other key points discussed in the podcast:

• Social isolation is linked to depression and anxiety and can be harmful to individuals with MS or TBI.

• Virtual therapy can be beneficial while sheltering-in-place from COVID-19.  

• Learn about behavioral and emotional changes for people with MS or TBI during the coronavirus outbreak.

To join a TBI or MS study, visit our Join a Study web-page or contact: [email protected]


Mental Health Resources

NJ Mental Health emotional support during COVID-19 

Call: 866-202-HELP (4357), 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm (EST)

Visit: - Mindfulness for your everyday life


Mindful Meditation Resources

Daily Calm | 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Be Present

Jon Kabat Zinn Body Scan Meditation GUIDED MEDITATION

3/30 Livestream Meditations with Jon Kabat-Zinn


Organizations with COVID-19 Resources for MS or TBI

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ)