UPMC Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Year in Review

January 11, 2022

With a staff of award-winning physicians, researchers, and faculty, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) treats patients at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, as well as on an outpatient basis. The Department's reputation for the science and practice of rehabilitation attracts top doctors and investigators who continue to make advances in both clinical and research environments. Read about some of the research advances the Department has made over the last year.

Serum Biomarkers of Regeneration and Plasticity are Associated with Functional Outcome in Pediatric Neurocritical Illness: An Exploratory Study

Jessica Jarvis, PhD, Amy Houtrow, MD, PhD, Amy Wagner, MD, and Amery Treble-Barna, PhD, published research exploring the association between blood biomarkers and functional impairment in children with acute acquired brain injury.

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Chronic Unpredictable Stress During Adolescence Protects Against Adult Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Affective and Cognitive Deficits

Patricia Tremblaye, PhD, Jody Wellcome, Kaitlyn Wiley, Carolyn Lomahan, Eleni Moschonas, Jeffrey Cheng, Corina Bondi, PhD, and Anthony Kline, PhD, published research assessing the effects of adverse stress during adolescence on emotional and cognitive performance in rats sustaining a TBI as adults, and how cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) activation impacts the outcome.

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Historical Perspectives, Challenges, and Future Directions of Implantable Brain-Computer Interfaces for Sensorimotor Applications

Jennifer Collinger, PhD, and Robert Gaunt, PhD, published research exploring technical and surgical challenges surrounding the development of brain-computer technology, historical perspectives, and the remarkable achievements of clinical study participants who forged new paths for future beneficiaries.

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Long-term Observational Results from the ASPIRE Study: OnabotulinumtoxinA Treatment for Adult Lower Limb Spasticity

Michael Munin, MD, published research exploring real-world onabotulinumtoxinA utilization and effectiveness in patients with lower limb spasticity from the Adult Spasticity International Registry (ASPIRE) study.

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Perturbation of Cortical Activity Elicits Regional and Age-Dependent Effects on Unconstrained Reaching Behavior: A Pilot Study

Mike Urbin, PhD, and Gina McKernan, PhD, published research examining effects of perturbations to specific cortical areas on the control of unconstrained reaches against gravity by younger and older adults.

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The Impact of Distractions on Intracortical Brain-Computer Interface Control of a Robotic Arm

Michael Guthrie, MD, Angelica Herrera, PhD, John Downey, PhD, Lucas Brane, MD, Michael Boninger, MD, and Jennifer Collinger, PhD, published research evaluating the impact of distractions on intracortical brain-computer interface (BCI) performance.

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Treatment of Burn Contractures with Allogeneic Human Dermal Fibroblasts Improves Vancouver Scar Scale: A Phase I/II Trial

Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, published research studying the treatment of burn contractures with allogeneic human dermal fibroblasts.

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