Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center

Kessler Foundation RONIC 3T Siemens Skyra (MRI) Scanner

Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center

Accelerating the Pace of Discoveries 

“I have seen the implications of the Foundation’s innovative research and how it is applied to patient care at Kessler Institute. [The Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center] provides indisputable proof that tested treatments are effective. This leads to improved care and allows our patients to maintain fulfilling and vibrant lives.” – Rocco Ortenzio, co-founder and CEO, Select Medical

Facilities and Capabilities of Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center

Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center Lobby at Kessler Foundation

Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center Waiting Room at Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation's research-dedicated facility is located in Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ. It houses the MRI scanner, a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra. The MRI suite includes a scanning room, a control room, waiting area, a wheelchair-accessible changing room, testing rooms, and a conference room.

 Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra 3.0 Tesla MRI Scanner

Improved with Physiological Equipment
The Center is also equipped with a MRI compatible subject stimulation system (Psychology Software Tools, Inc.) and a physiological measurement system (Biopac System, Inc.). The subject stimulation system allows presentation of  visual or task stimulation to the subjects and the ability to receive response feedback during scanning for brain functional studies. The physiological measurement system records subjects’ ECG, Pulse, Respiration, and EMG signals during scanning.

Expanding the Scope of Research

Additions of new technology are expanding the research capabilities of the Center’s 3T Siemens Skyra Scanner.

  • EEG capElectroencephalography (EEG) cap:
    Specially designed to be worn in the scanner captures brain wave activity during neuroimaging scans, providing more detailed information about brain activity patterns.

  • eye trackingEye-tracking system:
    Uses a high-speed camera to record eye movements while participants are looking at images on a screen. Eye-tracking can also be captured during testing in the scanner, providing valuable information about how a person processes information or engages with a particular task.

  • mock scanner with childMRI Simulator (or mock scanner): 
    Allows participants to prepare for their scans by experiencing the sights and sounds of an actual scan. The MRI Simulator is especially useful for children, as well as people of all ages with conditions that may compromise the quality of their scans, including anxiety disorders, phobias, and sensitivities to sound.

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Detailing Recovery of Function

Using MRI, researchers are finding ways to measure the effects of interventions that counteract the declines in muscle and bone strength seen after spinal cord injury – testosterone supplementation, robotic-assisted walking, and functional electrical stimulation. With the Center’s rare capability to conduct neuroimaging studies of the spinal cord, researchers are looking at cord recovery, ways to minimize neuropathic pain, and the impact of interventions being developed by Foundation scientists.

fMRI images of the brain

fMRI activation patterns in each of three conditions of the n-back task (the n-back is a sequential letter memory task). Each condition is shown in a separate row.

Documenting Effective Interventions

With functional MRI (fMRI), information on brain activity is recorded while a person is performing a task in the scanner. This provides valuable information on the functions of the brain, and allows researchers to compare activity patterns before and after treatment. Showing that treatment interventions correlate with changes in the brain provides important information on how these treatments work. This documentation allows the treatments to be optimized before translation of rehabilitation research to clinical care.

DTI Image within a blue silhouette of the head

Unraveling the Mechanisms of Fatigue

Cognitive fatigue is a symptom often reported by individuals with neurological conditions, including veterans with Gulf War Illness and individuals with traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Using neuroimaging techniques, researchers are learning about the mechanisms that underlie cognitive and physical fatigue, and exploring strategies to minimize debilitating effects, including cognitive behavioral interventions and exercise protocols.  

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Audio Description

PODCAST: Glenn Wylie, DPhil a leader in the application of neuroimaging technology to better understand cognition, is Director of the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. Dr. Wylie’s research focuses on cognitive fatigue and cognitive control in neurological populations.

Audio Description

PODCAST: Jack Fanous of VetsNow Radio stopped by Kessler Foundation and talked with foundation staff member Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Director, Rocco Ortenzio Imaging Center. Topics include Understanding Gulf War Illness Tackling the Problem, Kessler’s Research Approach, How and Why Veterans Should Get Involved.

VIDEO: Steve Adubato goes on-location to Kessler Foundation’s “Rebuilding Futures for our Nation’s Heroes” event to talk with Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Director, Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center, Kessler Foundation. Wylie discusses his research in cognitive fatigue in Gulf War veterans and how he is working to find better ways to treat veterans of Gulf War Illness. 

VIDEO: Interview with Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Director of the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation.

Woman with a exoskeleton mechanism that enables her to walk.

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