CVNR Newsletters - Collection of CVNR Newsletters

CVNR Highlights

Spring 2021

Pain researcher draws inspiration from Chinese medicine

was featured for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in a weekly highlight produced by the Atlanta VA. She cited her heritage as an inspiration for her research into the use of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for use in pain management. Dr. Woodbury is currently studying the use of non-narcotic and alternative therapies for the treatment of chronic pain and fibromyalgia through the Atlanta VA’s Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation.  Great job, Dr. Woodbury!

CVNR Researchers Collaborate with Clinical Speech-Language Pathologist to Help Veterans with Aphasia

Kudos to Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CVNR) researcher and Speech-Language Pathology clinician Jenny Munro for recently teaming up to pilot innovative brain imaging techniques to study treatment for aphasia, a condition in which a person has difficulty producing or understanding language. Dr. Rodriguez and her colleagues are using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to understand brain patterns that predict response to aphasia treatment with the goal of improving the quality of life for Veterans.

Gerofit Program Promotes Exercise and Health for Older Veterans

Kudos to our Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CVNR) staff for teaming up to offer a new exercise program that promotes health and wellness for Veterans over the age of 65. Gerofit is designed to help Veterans stay in shape and independent by using a variety of strength and aerobic exercises. For more information on this great way for our Veterans to stay active, contact at 404.315.4100 x 373125.

Recent Funding

Winter 2023 

Dr. AM Barret, MD and Dr. Michael Dattilo, MD, PhD (Site PI) received a VA RR&D Merit Award investigating prism adaption treatments (PAT) for right brain stroke rehabilitation. 

Summer 2022 

Machelle Pardue,PhD Senior Research Career Scientist, received a new VA RR&D Merit Award to continue her work treating early-stage diabetic retinopathy.

Katie Bales, PhD received her first VA BLR&D Career Development 2 Award where she'll investigate the role of retinal astrocytes in exercise-induced retinal neuroprotection.

Spring 2021 

received funding for a pilot project titled: "Moving in space and time: identifying spatial and temporal components of complex rhythmic movement training for people with prodromal Alzheimer’s disease" and for a new grant titled: "Novel Interventions for Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy". She also was awarded supplements for her project "Partnered Rhythmic Rehabilitation for Enhanced Motor-Cognition in Prodromal Alzheimer's Disease" to refine rigor and increase safety.

received funding for a new NEI NIH R01 grant, "Modulators for Retinal Ganglion Cell Injury" and had his Vision Research Core grant renewed with .

received an intent to fund letter for his CDA-2, "Enhanced Home-Based Exercise Therapy for Peripheral Arterial Disease through Mobile Health and Remote Monitoring"

Fall 2020

received an intent to fund from VA RR&D for SPiRE grant “A biomarker for personalized care in post-stroke spatial neglect”.

received a three-year grant from the Kats Foundation to support his research work in ocular disease and a separate grant for 3 years to continue the TUDCA clinical trial.

acquired a supplement fund to her CDC STEADI project.

Summer 2020

has become the Atlanta study site lead for a new Central IRB study examining a new suicide prevention strategy for patients identified as high risk through a machine learning algorithm at inpatient discharge. She also received funding for a three-year demonstration project, “Overcoming Access Barriers for PTSD Treatment in Primary Care: Demonstration and Evaluation of Prolonged Exposure for Primary Care (PE-PC) in Rural PC”, funded by the VA Office of Rural Health and she received funding from the Woodruff Foundation for the transition to all virtual intensive outpatient program for PTSD and related disorders.

Drs. and had their HSR&D Heroic SWIFT proposal “Remote Assessment of Spatial Function Post-Stroke: Improving Access to Care” funded.

received funding for five years for his R01 entitled “A novel approach of neurogenesis after stroke.”

received an intent to fund notice for his R01 entitled “Impact of Menopause on the Aqueous Outflow Pathway.”

Spring 2020

received his intent to fund notice for his RR&D SPiRE submission, “Effects of Acute Exercise on Functional Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Measures of GABA in Aging and Chronic Stroke.”

 has been awarded a Bright Focus Foundation glaucoma grant entitled, “Nicotinamide riboside as treatment in models of retinal ganglion cell damage” for the period 09/01/20 –08/30/22.

Spring 2019

Rachael Allen, PhD continues her VA research program with her newly funded VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Career Development 2 Award “Neuroprotective Strategies for Retinopathy and Cognition in Diabetes.” Dr. Allen will study the role of dopamine in Type II diabetes and investigate if dopamine restoration at the first signs of diabetic retinopathy will protect the brain and retina from diabetic complications. Diabetes affects nearly 20% of Veterans and that number is expected to rise to 35% by 2025.

Joe Nocera, PhD received funding for his first VA Rehabilitation Research& Development Merit Award. Dr. Nocera’s project, “Graded Intensity Aerobic Exercise to Improve Cerebrovascular Function and Performance in Aged Veterans,” will utilize fMRI to evaluate two primary measures that show the effect of various intensities of exercise on cerebrovascular health. These measures will help determine the impact of aerobic exercise on brain health in aging Veterans.

Fall 2018

Keith McGregor, PhD has been awarded VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Merit funding. Dr. McGregor’s project, “Effects of Aging on Cortical Excitability During Motor Learning” will be focused on the effects of aging on the brain's ability to learn new tasks. Using technologies including magnetic resonance spectroscopy, functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation, this project will attempt to discern the patterns of brain activity associated with optimal motor learning in older adults.

Dr. Jeffrey Boatright received a new VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Merit Award for his project, “A TrkB Activator for Treatment of Glaucoma.” Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and inordinately affects Veterans. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) keeps our brain and retina cells healthy. However, as we age, or in diseases such as glaucoma, BDNF levels decline. Dr. Boatright is developing drugs to be taken orally that supplement declining BDNF levels with the hopes of protecting vision.

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