Timothy Cope, director of the Wright State University & Premier Health Partners Neuroscience Institute, explains how this new partnership will improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
Wright State University & Premier Health Partners Neuroscience Institute Video Transcript
“We are unique in an important way. We are studying the peripheral nervous system, the nerves that supply the limbs and the body. These nerves supply, they provide us with sensory information of touch and how heavy an object is and where our limbs are in space. These nerves carry that information into the brain and the spinal cord. These nerves also carry the information out from the brain and the spinal cord to the muscles that produce the movement. So, you can see then that when these nerves are damaged or diseased it causes a significant problem.
“Fortunately, these nerves can re-grow, however, and when they re-grow they can reconnect with muscles and reconnect with the skin so that we can get some partial recovery of sensation and movement returned, it comes back. The problem is it’s not perfect; re-generation is not synonymous with recovery.
“So, remember now that I said we had disability, that we had a persisting deficit even after the nerve re-grows. That’s an important thing to recognize, because in the hopeful time that we are able to generate medical treatments that permit the brain and the spinal cord to re-grow after injury, our data show that we’re still going to have some significant problems with function and those problems are going to have to be attended to. I think our group is absolutely unique in identifying the ways that which, identifying the types of problems that are going to have to be attended to.
“Our Neuroscience Institute will have an impact on the region’s economy by generating 95 new jobs. We estimate that these 95 positions will be distributed in a variety of ways. Our new clinical faculty will set up clinical practices, in which they will require numerous administrators and clinical personnel. Our clinical scientists will set up laboratories, in which they will require technical expertise and technicians of a variety of kinds and administrators as well. These projects will all require that we train—that we engage and train—students. So, it will be a rich training environment in which we bring in more graduate students from around the country.
“The important thing that the institute is going to allow us to do is to connect us with clinicians. Clinicians who are going to help guide our questions toward the most relevant, clinically relevant, question that most researchers are not all that familiar with. We’ll provide that information, it’ll find its way into the clinics, the clinicians will then come back to us and tell us that they need additional information or that they want to rearrange the treatments in ways that are going to require that we examine the problem in a new way. So, it will be this back and forth between clinicians and scientists that will inform the most effective way of developing treatments. We will change lives directly by providing more effective healthcare. The interaction between the basic scientists and the clinicians is going to develop innovative techniques for treatment of a wide variety of neurological diseases.”