press releases

Dr. Chiaravalloti of Kessler Foundation to Study Effect of Cognitive Intervention in Aging

dr chiaravalloti wearing a green shirt


New Jersey Health Foundation funds application of memory retraining protocol in older adults with mild cognitive impairment

East Hanover, NJ – January 17, 2018 – Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation, and director of the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, has received a $42,000  award from the New Jersey Health Foundation. The grant funds a trial testing the efficacy of the modified Story Memory Technique mSMT (mSMT)in older adults, comparing healthy older adults with older adults with mild cognitive impairment.


Age-associated cognitive impairment affects approximately 40% of people aged 65 or older in the United States – about 16 million people. Investigators will examine the impact of the mSMT on new learning and memory abilities and measures of daily life functioning and overall quality of life, assessing both groups immediately post-treatment and at one and two years post-intervention.


“Our research shows that in populations with traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis, the modified Story Memory Technique is effective for improving new learning and memory across three realms of functioning: objective behavior, brain functioning, and everyday life,” explained Dr. Chiaravalloti. “This award enables me to further test the efficacy of this cognitive therapy. If effective in the aging population, the application of this adaptation of the mSMT could enhance quality of life for older adults,” she noted.


Investigators will use the advanced brain imaging technology at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation to examine the neurofunctional changes underlying potential improvement with the mSMT. The findings of this study may help reduce loss of independence and improve daily functioning in older adults by providing a critical biomarker for post-treatment changes in new learning and memory.


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 employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


Learn more by visiting


Stay Connected


ImageTwitter | 


Image Facebook |


Image YouTube |



Submitted by cmurphy on Wed, 01/17/2018 - 15:44