T. Richard Fort, PhD is CereScan’s Chief Science Officer as well as a member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Fort began his career in the space shuttle program at Kennedy Space Center where he worked in organizational development with a focus on leadership, employee motivation, and total quality management. he moved into the world of education when he began buying Sylvan Learning Center franchises. In 1995, he founded ESM, which became the premiere outsourced admissions center for colleges and universities nationwide and was acquired by Xerox Corporation in 2011.
Dr. Fort earned a B.A. in Psychology from Louisiana State University, an M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Northeast Louisiana University, and a Ph.D. in Psychology at Walden University. As Chief Science Officer for CereScan, Dr. Fort uses his applied research skills to focus on innovative treatments for various brain disorders with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.
CereScan is currently completing an Institutional Review Board approved study that was designed to examine the effectiveness of near infrared (NIR) light therapy in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. The Tug McGraw Foundation has funded this study and we have partnered with the Colorado Neurological Institute to oversee the study.
The study is a small proof-of-concept study and includes 12 military veterans, all of whom have suffered a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. The treatment is the application of NIR light to the head. This type of light therapy is transcranial, that is, it goes through the skull and bathes the brain in both red and near infrared light. Each participant in the study has gone through three treatment sessions each week for six weeks. Each treatment session takes 20 minutes, making the total amount of treatment over the course of the study just six hours.
To study the impact of the treatment, CereScan is using three measures. First, each participant completes a symptom questionnaire by rating each TBI symptom on a 1-5 point scale in terms of both frequency and intensity. Second, neuropsychological testing is conducted using standard learning and cognitive processing scales. Third, each participant undergoes a SPECT brain scan to measure blood flow levels in 160 regions of the brain. Each SPECT scan is quantitative and produces 262,000 data points, which in turn create 3D images of the injured areas of the brain. These measures are used both pre-treatment and post-treatment in order to make comparisons and draw conclusions.