This time of year, people have love and giving their hearts to others. One person in particular had such a big heart that she continues to spread love even though she has passed. Charlene Barron was a Ironman athlete, an animal lover, and a wonderful person in the eyes of those who knew her. Unfortunately, she died due to a traumatic brain injury during a training session. To honor her and help prevent the same from happening to others, her friends and family have set up a charity event to raise money for TBI research. That event is something Charlene loved doing: a dog run. This September will be the 2nd annual Charlene's 5K Dog Run. Please join Charlene's friends and family, as well as the BIRL in supporting this noble cause.For more information, please check out their website here.

Check out the lab's newsletter for more information about progress in our studies!

Also see our Holiday Newsletter here.

Our Research

Every 8 seconds somebody in the United States sustains a brain injury due to a fall, collision or accident. Even with today’s advanced medical technology – computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – it is very difficult to figure out the extent and type of brain damage. While most people who have a concussion or even a structural brain injury recover completely, a small percentage do not heal quickly. Without recognition of their injury, these people sometimes suffer in obscurity, self-medicate into an addictive spiral, have impaired professional activity, and develop failed interpersonal relationships.

Our laboratory is investigating methods for improved classification of brain injury to enable better identification of people who not recover. The primary methodology that we are developing for quantitation of the extent of injury utilizes eye tracking. A research subject watches a short film clip or music video as it plays on a monitor. A camera measures eye movements with high precision and identifies patterns associated with brain injury.

How to Participate

We recruit trauma patients and controls (healthy normal people) from the emergency department, trauma bay, neurosurgery service and outpatient TBI center at Hennepin County Medical Center. Still, if you or a loved one has sustained any traumatic injury, please consider participating in our research study. All we need is fifteen minutes to an hour of your time in return for a small honorarium. Our eye tracking session takes less than five minutes and does not require any invasive processes but we encourage you to enroll in other components of our study as well. Our friendly staff is eager to assist you with detailed information about a variety of sessions we offer and scheduling an appointment should you decide to contribute to our research efforts. You can contact us directly at (612) 873-7190 or braininjuryresearch@hcmed.org. Please don’t forget to refer any family or friends who might be interested in working with us!

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