News Release

Kessler Foundation awarded major Wallerstein Foundation grant for stroke research

Three-year $250,000 grant funds advancement in the treatment for rehabilitation after right brain stroke

Meeting Announcement

Kessler Foundation

A.M. Barrett, MD, Kessler Foundation

image: This is the Director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation. view more 

Credit: Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation was awarded a $250,000 grant by the Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement. The three-year grant will advance the Foundation's stroke rehabilitation research in the diagnosis and treatment of spatial neglect, a hidden disability that complicates recovery after right brain stroke.

In this project, Kessler Foundation creates a national, practice-based network for spatial neglect treatment and research. Network partners are trained to implement Kessler Foundation's spatial neglect assessment and treatment protocols -- the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (KF-NAP™), and the Kessler Foundation Prism Adaptation Treatment (KF-PAT™) -- at 12 rehabilitation centers across the U.S. Therapy teams at each center will report on the use of these tools. The practice-based network will be a key resource to examine outcomes of spatial neglect assessment, and prism adaptation treatment, to assess whether these care processes enhance functional recovery and overall quality of life.

"This grant enables us to bring our bench-to-bedside treatment program to larger numbers of people recovering from right brain stroke, and produce systematic information supporting its impact" said A.M. Barrett, MD, director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation. "The severity of spatial neglect, which can be measured with KF-NAP, can affect rates of home discharge, an important benchmark for stroke rehabilitative care," noted Dr. Barrett. "We feel that value-based, patient-centered care is advanced when professionals incorporate KF-NAP and KF-PAT in their rehabilitation protocols. This will be obvious when more stroke survivors attain optimal functional recovery and greater independence, which is the pathway to successfully returning to home, the community and the workplace."

The Wallerstein Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in West Orange, NJ, is dedicated to supporting quality of life for the elderly. "The Foundation recognizes the importance of research in helping seniors stay engaged in family life and the community," said Michele Pignatello, chief development officer of Kessler Foundation. "By providing more than half a million dollars for our research since 2000, The Wallerstein Foundation has substantially extended its influence, contributing to the improvement in rehabilitative care for the greater population of stroke survivors."


About Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation:

Research studies span all domains of post-stroke dysfunction, including cognitive deficits and mobility impairment. Under the direction of A.M. Barrett, MD, stroke scientists also mentor students, resident physicians, and post-doctoral trainees in translational neuroscience of rehabilitation. Cognitive research emphasizes hidden disabilities after stroke, including disabilities of functional vision (spatial bias and spatial neglect) and reading deficits. Mobility research, in partnership with Human Performance & Engineering Research, centers on the application of robotic exoskeletons for stroke rehabilitation. Stroke research receives funding from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health/NICHD/NCMRR, New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research, Kessler Foundation, the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, and the Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement. Scientists have faculty appointments at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

About Kessler Foundation:

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes--including employment--for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

For more information on Kessler Foundation's research, visit

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