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News Home Researchers at Wheeling University Collaborate Studies of Cranial Movement Therapy for Individuals Suffering Post-Concussion Symptoms

  Friday, November 8, 2019 1:19 PM
  WU News



“We are proud that we were able to initiate this very unique collaborative research with Simkovich Cranial Institute,” said Dr. Hadadzadeh, the project team leader and Chair of the research committee in the department of physical therapy at Wheeling University. “The seeds of this collaborative project were planted in 2018 by one of our students, Dr. Jessica Tierney, who was introduced to Dr. Simkovich’s Cranial Institute and his unique technique for treatment of post-concussion patients by Dr. Grubler, associate clinical professor of physical therapy and co-researcher on this project.

Dr. Simkovich, D.C., a chiropractor who owns the Simkovich Cranial Institute in Wexford, PA, has been treating patients with post-concussion and traumatic brain injury symptoms since 1986. Throughout his years of experience, he has developed and implemented a distinctive method called Cranial Movement Therapy (CMT-Simkovich Approach). He has observed significant improvement in the clinical outcomes of his patients who were suffering long-lasting debilitating symptoms of headaches, dizziness, and lack of concentration. Researchers believe that this technique may increase the blood flow to the brain and improve the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid in order to accelerate the healing process of the damaged brain tissue. 

“My connection to Wheeling University (formerly known Wheeling Jesuit University) initiated through Jessica, a DPT student at Wheeling University, recognizing that my unique method has the potential to be further examined in a scientific research to provide evidence of its effectiveness,” said Dr. Simkovich. “By this connection, the researchers at Wheeling University, Dr. Hadadzadeh and Dr. Grubler showed interest to develop scientific research methods to studythe effects of this unique approach,” adds Dr. Simkovich. “This was a dream for me to be able to scientifically investigatemy novel treatment technique which has been evolving for many years in my clinical practice. I am pleased and excited to be able to share it with the scientific community.”

For decades, anatomists and clinicians believed that cranial bones completely fuse; however, this idea has been challenged in recent years. The uniqueness of the CMT-Simkovich Approach backs up the hypothesis that the sutures between cranial bones are not fully fused and can be mobilized to optimize their relationship, the circulation of blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid. However, there is not strong evidence to support it. “We are fortunate that all of us came across with each other to put the pieces of this puzzle together and initiate this novel research which definitely has the potential for many future researches and may eventually have significant impact on the life of many people,” said Dr. Hadadzadeh.

Wheeling University doctor of physical therapy students Alisha Hellenbrand, Madeline Berger, Luke Senko, Anna Lazar, and Jordan Culichia are closely working with their research advisors (Dr. Hadadzadeh and Dr. Grubler) on this project and with Dr. Simkovich to progress this research into the next stage. The results of the first stage of this project will be submitted for consideration for publication soon as a case series and we hope to advance it to the next stage in the form of a randomized controlled trial,” adds Dr. Hadadzadeh. “We are definitely thankful to our doctoral students who showed interest in working on this project with us.”