Dr Jennifer Crinion
MRC clinician scientist fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London.
Dr Jenny Crinion is an MRC fellow and speech therapist researching new approaches to treating stroke patients with aphasia — difficulty speaking, writing or understanding others.
Jenny is studying the neurological mechanisms underlying the use of electrical brain stimulation as a treatment to help patients improve their ability to ‘find the right words’.
“Talking with patients, I often hear that they want more help with ‘getting their words out’. Lots of stroke patients continue to struggle to find the words they’re looking for many years after their stroke but there isn’t much treatment available for them at the moment. With MRC funding, I’m developing a new treatment approach that combines computer-based training with electrical stimulation to the brain, which can help speed up recovery.
“My research will uncover the mechanism by which brain stimulation works and shed light on why some people recover their word-finding ability spontaneously and others don’t. I still do two clinics a month, which helps keep my research interesting, fun and on track: although a lot of my work is basic neuroscience, it is a ‘proof of principle’ approach to developing a new treatment model that, ultimately, I hope will be useful in the real world.
“I spent the first year of my MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which was fantastic – it made me appreciate what we have in the UK and what we could change, it raised my international profile and has led directly to more opportunities and collaborations. It also raised my knowledge of the field and different approaches to both research and healthcare – I love the American ‘can-do’ attitude and I’ve brought it back with me!”
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Published June 2011