UAB Graduate Student Featured in Major Indexing Service

An article senior-authored by Lynne Gauthier, a graduate student in the Medical Psychology program, was featured by MDLinx, a major indexing service covering all medical fields. The other authors were Edward Taub, Gitendra Uswatte, graduate student Christi Perkins and Victor Mark. This is the second paper that Lynne has published on which she was senior author. The first paper was “Remodeling the brain: plastic structural brain changes produced by different motor therapies after stroke.”

Here is a recap of the article, "Improvement After Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy is Independent of Infarct Location in Chronic Stroke Patients" featured in MDLinx for which Lynne was the senior author:

CI therapy is highly effective in sub-acute and chronic patient populations (efficacy has been demonstrated in individuals who experienced insult to the brain as many as 20 years earlier) with chronic hemiparesis of varying etiologies. Gauthier et al., 2009 examined whether infarct location would be predictive of treatment response from CI therapy.  We discovered that improvement from CI therapy does not depend on the location of neurological damage, despite there being a pretreatment relationship between infarct location and in-laboratory motor ability. This dissociation might be explained by brain plasticity induced by CI therapy.  We hope that this finding will influence medical practice by encouraging medical professionals to 1) realize that plastic brain reorganization is possible even long after stroke, 2) refrain from making assumptions regarding which patients will benefit most substantially from therapy, and 3) offer an empirically-validated therapy such as CI therapy for stroke, TBI, or MS with moderate or severe motor deficit. The research confirms that the mature brain has a great deal of plastic capacity to compensate for neurological damage when an appropriate rehabilitation technique is administered.

Lynne’s research, neuroplasticity resulting from rehabilitation, has given her the opportunity to work with Dr. Edward Taub, a distinguished member of the neurorehabilitation field. Lynne credits Dr. Taub, her mentor, for greatly influencing her research training as well as other faculty and members of the research team (e.g. Dr. Uswatte, Dr. Mark).  She adds, “Not to be discounted, however, is what I have learned by interacting with other students.” Lynne won first place in the 2008 Graduate Student Research Days competition and received the Outstanding Graduate Student in Medical Psychology award.

Congratulations to Lynne on this and all of her achievements!