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About the Center

Located at USC’s Health Sciences Campus in Los Angeles, Calif., the Phillips-Fisher Center is the first of its kind in the world. The Center has brought together world-class basic science researchers in collaboration with cutting-edge physical therapists to better understand the effects of medical treatment and physical therapy on brain plasticity and repair in patients with neuro-degenerative disorders during comprehensive clinical trials.

These USC scientists and physical therapists are pioneering the research that has identified a connection between improved motor skills and high-intensity exercise in those with Parkinson’s disease featured in a 2006 article that appeared in USA Today.

“One of the most exciting advances in neuroscience over the last 15 years has been the recognition that the brain’s capacity for recovery from injury is far greater than previously thought. It is now recognized that the brain has the ability to reorganize (e.g. neuroplasticity) after disease or injury, and that this phenomenon can be facilitated through activity-dependent processes, including environmental enrichment, forced use, complex skills training, and exercise.”
– Beth Fisher, Ph.D., P.T., and Jeanine Yip, D.P.T.

The mission of the USC Phillips-Fisher Center is to enhance the physical well-being and quality-of-life of humans with degenerative brain disorders by advancing the basic science, clinical research, and rehabilitation associated with brain repair.

With over 60,000 new cases of degenerative brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease each year, and over 1.5 million cases in America, this research is already influencing the lives of patients today and will for years to come.

“My experience with the USC Phillips-Fisher Center was incredible. Since my diagnosis with Parkinson’s, I had heard about the program and wanted desperately to participate…so much so, I moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles just to be a part of it. The enthusiasm and care I experienced there moved me deeply. I am excited to see how the research occurring there develops and will help other like me…”

– Don White, PERKS clinical trial participant

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