Researchers awarded $2.3 million R01 grant for chronic stroke research

A four-year grant from NIH will fund a clinical trial that will test new approaches to cognitive rehabilitation in adults with stroke.

Taub and UswatteEdward Taub, Ph.D., and Gitendra Uswatte, Ph.D.Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for their research with chronic stroke patients.

The four-year, $2.3 million grant, titled “Transferring Speed of Processing Gains to Everyday Cognitive Tasks after Stroke,” will fund a clinical trial. The trial will compare the effectiveness of a cognitive training program developed by the UAB Constraint Induced Therapy Research Group, with state-of-the-art methods for brain fitness training called Brain Fitness – Health Education Lifestyle Program.

Constraint-induced therapy is a therapeutic approach to rehabilitation after stroke, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. The therapy consists of a group of treatments that teach the brain to “rewire” itself following an injury to the brain, and is based on research by the Department of Psychology’s Edward Taub, Ph.D., university professor; Gitendra Uswatte, Ph.D., professor; and other collaborators at UAB.

“In our approach to treat stroke patients, we combine speed of cognitive processing training with important components of CI therapy,” Taub said. “We target daily activities such as cooking, household tasks and planning, and taking medications.”

The clinical trial led by Taub, Uswatte and Karlene Ball, Ph.D., university professor in the Department of Psychology, is currently accepting applications. Patients must be at least 40 years old, have had a stroke in the last six months or more, and have cognitive impairment to be eligible.

“We have data from two previous pilot studies indicating that CI therapy is effective in reducing cognitive impairment resulting from stroke, long-haul COVID-19 brain fog and cognitive impairment,” Taub said. “There is also data from other centers and from UAB that indicates brain fitness training is additionally effective in reducing cognitive impairment, so we are excited to see the results that come from this clinical trial.”

To learn more about the trial and how to apply, contact Staci McKay at 205-934-9768 or