UM physical therapy teams up with PaddleHeads for new research study

Skylar Rispens

A team from the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science is working with the Missoula PaddleHeads this week to conduct research investigating inner-ear performance in high-level athletes.

By using three different types of tests, the study aims to improve rehabilitation following injury to the vestibular system, such as a concussion or other types of traumatic brain injury. The vestibular system in the inner ear coordinates balance, eye movement and spatial orientation, among other functions.

“Basically what we’re hoping to do with this study is to give more precise benchmarks to better inform rehab in the future,” said assistant professor Dr. Andy Kittelson.

The project is largely spearheaded by Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow Tyler Filippini, who recently moved to Missoula after transferring from a college in Chicago. Assistant professors Dr. Brian Loyd and Kittelson as well as research lab manager Tiffany Quindry are working with Filippini on this study.

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Filippini is hoping to continue this research over the next few years as well.

“I feel lucky,” Filippini said. “I think the team I’m with is making it possible and they’ve been just great to

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