Teaming up to improve the lives of people living with strokes.

People walking on a pier
Stroke survivor Lisa A. Sims (left) and son Jevon Okundaye help Julie Hahnke (far right) and her guest, Janet Nittmann, lead the way along the Boston Waterfront as part of the first Tedy’s Team Center of Excellence in Stroke Recovery Wellness Walk for stroke survivors.

Patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms often have less disability three months after a stroke than those who received delayed care. But to get help, it is important to understand the signs of stroke. Part of the mission of the Tedy's Team Stroke Center is to ensure our community is educated and aware: prepared to recognize a stroke and thus help mitigate the negative effects.

 

Knowing the Signs of Stroke Can Save Lives: A Family Shares Their Story

 

 

The IHP houses a robust research enterprise, and several of our renowned researchers focus on aspects of stroke recovery and the effects of stroke on areas like speech, language and brain activity. Pursuant to the IHP model of interprofessional collaboration and translational research, under the umbrella of the Tedy's Team Stroke Center, researchers from different disciplines are able to work together, share information, and see how their research findings might have a direct impact on the rehabilitation of stroke survivors.

Meet our ResearchersParticipate in stroke-related research at the IHP

Ongoing Funded Research Studies for People Living with Strokes

white sensor on a wrist looks like a big square watch

Dr. Keysor is collaborating with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Biosensics to develop a wearable tracker that promotes use of hemiparetic limbs during activities of daily living in the home and community. This work is currently being supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health: NIH SBIR Phase II 2R44HD084035-04. Read more about this project and Dr. Keysor’s research at her Behavior, Abilities, and Technology Lab (B-ABLE).  

a man holds a t-shaped device about a foot in length to a womans head

Dr. Kimberley uses brain stimulation and imaging techniques to optimize neurorecovery in people with neurologic injuries. Her groundbreaking work on Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) paired with intensive arm rehabilitation led the way to a new FDA-approved device for upper extremity recovery after stroke. Read more about Dr. Kimberley’s work and active research studies at her IHP Brain Recovery Lab.

 

 

Tedy’s Team Center of Excellence Research Fellows

Faculty members from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are implementing pilot studies to advance care in the following projects:  

 

“Identifying the moderating roles of psychosocial, physical activity, and communication factors on fall status after stroke using ecological momentary assessment.” (Megan Schliep) (mentored by PT Professor Dr. Prue Plummer)

  • Schliep will use ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to collect real-time information several times a day via text message about stroke survivors’ daily activities, including what they are engaged in, where, with whom, and how they are feeling in the moment in regard to mood and ability to concentrate. The survey participants will include people with and without aphasia.

“Scaling up: Piloting a home-practice version of Melodic Intonation Therapy.” (Lauren Zipse)

  • Zipse will develop and test a home-practice version of an established aphasia treatment called Melodic Intonation Therapy, and test whether home practice can be used successfully to increase treatment dosage. If home practice is effective, it can allow people with aphasia to receive more frequent treatment over a longer period of time than most get following a stroke.

“Activating Life Participation: Tracking outcomes after an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP.)” (Esther Ayuk & Suzanne Pennington) (mentored by CSD Chair Dr. Marjorie Nicholas)

  • Ayuk and Pennington will design an aphasia-appropriate Behavioral Activation (BA) treatment program to address activity engagement after an ICAP program. Clients who recently completed the Spaulding Rehabilitation – Institute ICAP will be recruited for the project and will be followed for up to a year. Findings will provide insight into the effectiveness of their aphasia-adapted BA treatment program and highlight barriers and facilitators of activity engagement post-ICAP.

four women stand in front of a green staircase
(l-to-r): Assistant Professor Dr. Megan Schliep, CSD Associate Professor Dr. Lauren Zipse, and CSD Instructors Esther Ayuk and Suzanne Pennington.

Our Center utilizes the expertise within already existing MGH Institute of Health Professions IMPACT clinical centers (Aphasia Center, Ionta Physical Therapy Center, Tabor/Connor Occupational Therapy Center, and Ruth Sleeper Nursing Center) to address the highly complex issues of stroke rehabilitation that cannot be solved by one discipline alone. At these clinical centers, graduate students provide clinical care under the supervision of licensed faculty clinicians at no charge to community members. Access to services varies depending on the time of year and students enrolled in a particular program. If you are interested in services, fill out the form below and a member of our Center will be in touch.

Inquire about services

 

The IMPACT Center treated 62 stroke survivors June 2023 through December 2023, averaging 62 years old, with ages ranging from 27 to 88 years. The patient group was about 60% male and 40% female, with time since stroke varying from 14 months to 25 years. This diverse demographic demonstrates the Center's capability to address the needs of a broad range of stroke survivors.

The statistics around stroke are alarming:

  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke.
  • Every hour, 17 people die of a stroke.
  • More than half of stroke survivors 65 and older have reduced mobility and challenges during daily living.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 survivors are left with aphasia, which affects the ability to understand speech, speak, read, write, and use numbers.

Acting fast for yourself or someone you know is critical, but that can only happen when you know the warning signs and symptoms of stroke. 

the words BE FAST: balance difficulties, eyesight changes, face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties, time to call 911

Stroke News and Advancements from the IHP