Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

The Brain Trust Initiative

October 28, 2016

When injury or illness affects the brain, it is often a serious and life-altering experience. Yet, in the past 20 years, scientists have discovered that the brain has the ability to reorganize itself to compensate for injury and disease – to form new connections and pathways. This principle of the brain is called “neuroplasticity.”

In order to give patients at Madonna the best outcomes possible, the Madonna Foundation is launching “The Brain Trust Initiative.” This initiative is centered on acquiring state of the art technology, expanding novel research and promoting educational opportunities to enhance expertise. These three components will capitalize on the neuroplastic principles of the brain and take rehabilitation to the next level.

Who will be served? Gifts to this initiative will help children and adults with traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, Guillian Barre Syndrome, Shaken Baby Syndrome, military injuries, and a variety of neuromuscular diseases.

How you can help? Your gifts to this initiative will help provide the following and more:

  • An exoskeleton bionic suit that activates the knee and hip movements needed for walking via motorized legs. This technology allows individuals with lower extremity paralysis to stand up and walk over ground.
  • A special bike that sends electrical impulses to the arms and legs in order to encourage mass repetition of pedaling in persons with paralysis or other neuromuscular diseases.
  • A brain imaging system that uses light in the same way that a MRI uses magnets to help researchers assess brain function such as attention, memory, planning and problem solving while patients actually perform activities.
  • An electroencephalogram (EEG) headset that patients can wear to improve attention, and in the case of patients with very limited movement, can train their brain to operate a curser on a computer screen, play a computer game or control their environment such as turning on the lights or the television.

How Madonna patients will be helped? By acquiring equipment that helps therapists create opportunities for mass repetition, by supporting a research agenda that tests new approaches and seeks better outcomes, and by promoting advanced education for the best and the brightest, more patients will be able to live life to the highest level of independence possible. Please contact the Madonna Foundation at 402-413-4777 for more information on this initiative.

Learn more through the Brain Trust Initiative Case Statement.