03/08/2014 | 9am-12pm | CU Boulder, Benson Earth Sciences (Room 180)

Professor Theresa Hernandez, Psychology and Neuroscience

Neurological disorders, including stroke and traumatic brain injury, with their associated consequences are highly prevalent in the United States, afflicting more than 50 million annually. Because conventional treatments can be limited and functional recovery incomplete, complementary and alternative medicine is often sought out. The popularity of complementary and alternative medicine exists despite inconclusive research findings for its treatment of neurological disorders. Apparent methodological limitations in complementary and alternative medicine studies include issues related to experimental design, control groups, sample size, blinding and disparities in outcome measures. Overcoming these limitations poses challenges, but not insurmountable ones.  The goal of this presentation is to provide the fundamental framework to critically assess research on complementary and alternative medicine interventions for neurological disorders, specifically stroke and traumatic brain injury. Having this ability for critical assessment is essential to our understanding of complementary and alternative medicine -based interventions and accessing them with optimal effectiveness.

Theresa D. Hernández received her B.A. in 1983 and her Ph.D. in 1988 from the Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She completed a predoctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in England. Her post-doctoral fellowship was in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University in the School of Medicine. Hernández holds the position of professor and chair in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. She also has an appointment at the Veterans Integrated Service Network 19, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center. Hernández program of research is aimed at developing treatment strategies that effectively and positively impact neurobehavioral function during periods in which the recovery process is apparently “less vulnerable” to intervention, with a priority being to identify and rigorously test novel treatment strategies. In addition to receiving a 2011 Integrative Medicine Award from Prevention Magazine, the Department of Defense is currently funding a placebo-controlled, randomized, blinded trial of acupressure in Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.  She and her collaborators at the Denver VA Medical Center lead this grant.

Location: Benson Earth Sciences – Room 180
2200 Colorado Ave
Boulder, CO 80309 (map)

Parking: $4 all-day parking is available in the parking lot directly WEST of Benson Earth Sciences. Please note that the lot east of Benson is metered parking. Free parking is located in lots 436 and 494 near Colorado Ave & Regent Drive. (map)