Patient Care

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Future of Health

Research Unlocks the Science of Recovery

A new institute is harnessing the unique resources of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network to unlock the science of recovery through rehabilitation research.

Spaulding Research Institute combines five dynamic Spaulding specialty centers working at the frontiers of science to treat and cure key causes of disability: spinal cord injury, brain injury/concussion, stroke, musculoskeletal injury, and chronic pain. These centers all share the same goal: to shed light on the biology of recovery, through laboratory and clinical research exploring genetics, biomarkers, and injury patterns. Integrating these efforts under the umbrella of the Institute will help to develop more precise rehabilitation plans that help patients maximize their recovery.

Although one in five U.S. adults live with a disability, only 0.3 percent of National Institutes of Health research spending is targeted toward rehabilitation. The Spaulding Institute will fill this gap by accelerating the pace of discovery and expanding their world-class research and care team. Recent developments include innovative exercise and fatigue-reducing therapies for stroke patients uncovered by the Stroke Research and Recovery Institute, as well as augmented reality therapy from the INSPIRE Lab to help patients with spinal cord injuries walk again.

The Institute was launched in September 2018 with an event that included “RehabRAPS” – informative updates on current research – and the opportunity for participants to interact with researchers directly. “What’s remarkable is how things have changed,” says Ross Zafonte, DO, Senior Vice President Medical Affairs, Research and Education at Spaulding. “And Boston is a nexus for all of this. We are in a unique time and place where we can lead the world in helping the billion people with some type of disability.”