Skip to main content
Sign In

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Banner Image


PM&R News


Dr. Patricia Heyn Publishes "What Is Mild Stroke?"

10 July 2017

Patricia Heyn, PhD published this educational article answering the question "What Is Mild Stroke?". The article importantly reviews the symptoms, risk and when to call your doctor. The article also includes a very useful table with common symptoms, what individuals can do to manage their symptoms and what steps your healthcare provider can take. Best, the article can be downloaded for free!

Read the article at:

Pub: Growing literature but limited evidence: A systematic review regarding prebiotic and probiotic interventions for those with traumatic brain injury and/or posttraumatic stress disorder

7 July 2017

In this publication the CU PM&R author's Nazanin Bahraini PhD, Jerri Forster PhD and Lisa Brenner PhD highlight: TBI & PTSD are highly prevalent & often occur together; Inflammation may play key role in symptom onset & perpetuation in both conditions; Efficacious treatments for co-occurring TBI & PTSD symptoms are extremely limited; Identified studies suggested some promise; Conclusions limited by variability in methods, supplements & outcomes of interest; Larger trials are needed to explore biological signatures & clinical outcomes.

Read more

Pub: The Association Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Perceptions of Deployment-Related Injury in Veterans With and Without Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

6 July 2017

The CU PM&R author's Nazanin Bahraini PhD, Jerri Forster PhD and Lisa Brenner PhD looked at the perception of injuries for Veterans with PTSD and whether the perceptions differ if the Veteran has a mild TBI and no TBI. The important takeaway is "Altering injury perceptions may be an important treatment target for Veterans with co-occurring PTSD and deployment-related injuries."

Read more

30th Annual Gersten Day Storify

12 June 2017

The 30th Annual Gersten Day was a great success and we had a bunch of people tweeting about it and even had a live video feed on Periscope! You can click on this Storify link to see all the tweets!

Locked-In: The moving promise of a paralyzed father

31 May 2017

Partially narrated by Dr. William Niehaus, "Jim Cohen, acclaimed chef and restaurateur, woke up one morning completely paralyzed after suffering a stroke in his sleep. His mind was alert and aware, but he couldn’t move his body or call for help. It’s called being “locked-in.” The only way he could convey that he was conscious was by blinking his eyes. One blink for “yes,” two blinks for “no.” With such a small percentage of these patients ever regaining any motor function at all, Jim’s outlook was extremely grim. But when the tiniest ray of hope came into Jim’s life in the form of a question, Jim blinks once and sets out to do the impossible."

Watch the full video on YouTube

Dr. Tahmasbi Sohi's EMG Lab is Awarded AANEM Exemplary Status

9 May 2017

The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) has moved Dr. Tahmasbi Sohi's EMG Lab from “AANEM certified” to an “Exemplary” status. Dr. William Sullivan says, "For as long as I can remember, people have talked about our program as having an AANEM Certified EMG lab, but none of her predecessors were able to obtain this. Great work, Maryam."


Video: PM&R Grand Rounds: Effects of Steroids on Scoliosis in Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

9 May 2017

May 2017 - PM&R Grand Rounds: Effects of Steroids on Scoliosis in Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by Ratcharin Kongkasuwan, MD

View this PM&R Grand Rounds


Dr. William Niehaus Discusses Stroke Awareness on KOA Front Range Focus

6 May 2016

The KOA Radio program Front Range Focus featured stroke survivor and chef Jim Cohen, Dr. William Niehaus, Intructor for CU PM&R, Dr. Ben Honigman, University of Colorado Hospital emergency medicine physician, and Paula Freund, public relations manager for UCHealth discussing stroke awareness and the The Healthy Swings Charity Home Run Derby on May 10th.

#StrokeMonth #KnowTheSigns #ThinkFAST

Listen to the podcast

Dr. Kristin Uhler: Spectral-temporal EEG dynamics of speech discrimination processing in infants during sleep

19 April 2017

Dr. Kristin Uhler's paper "Spectral-temporal EEG dynamics of speech discrimination processing in infants during sleep" was the featured article this week at BMC Neuroscience. This paper presents a new approach (time frequency mismatched response MMRTF) to analyzing infant speech discrimination. Phillip Gilley and I contributed equally to this paper and we found that: Infants CAN and DO process speech information during sleep, these processes include speech discrimination, and we can observe these processes with advanced EEG analyses. This technique can be applied to learn more about how infants with hearing loss discriminate speech sounds.

Read the full article in open access on BMC Neuroscience

Video: PM&R Grand Rounds: Leadership in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation presented by Joel DeLisa MD, MS

5 April 2017

The Dept of PM&R's Dennis J. Matthews visiting lectureship was presented by Joel DeLisa on 5 April 2017. Dr. DeLisa is Professor Emeritus, Department of PM&R, Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, Clinical Professor Department Orthopeduics & Rehabilitation, University of New Mexico, Retired.

View this PM&R Grand Rounds


Save the Date: CU PT 70 Years of Progress
September 7, 2017

Join the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program as we commemorate 70 years of providing excellent physical therapy education, clinical care, research and scholarship. Our anniversary celebration will feature lectures, continuing education opportunities and a celebratory reception. Following the CUPT 70th anniversary festivities, take part in the CU Marquette Challenge Sept. 8-9–a continuing education event benefiting the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

Connect with alumni, students, faculty, staff and colleagues from around the country. Invitations and more details arriving Spring 2017!

For more information contact:



CU PM&R Announces the Dennis J. Matthews, M.D. Excellence in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Fund

This fund, established in the 19th year of Dr. Matthews’ leadership in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will provide support of PM&R Scholarship through visiting professor lectures, workshops, and national presentations. This year also inaugurates the Dennis J. Matthews, M.D. Lectureship featuring Visiting Professor Michael Boninger, M.D., Professor and Endowed Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Director, UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.

Dennis J. Matthews, M.D., a living legend of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, attended medical school at the University of Colorado and went on to train in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Frederic Kottke, one of the founding fathers of the field. In 1997, Dr. Matthews was recruited back to Denver by Dr. Jerome Gersten to be the 4th Chair of the Department.

Dr. Matthews’ work with pediatric muscle disease, cerebral palsy, and rehabilitation is internationally known and has identified him as a pioneer in his field. Dr. Matthews’ remarkable work with pediatric rehabilitation and practice development has laid the foundation for pediatric subspecialties and the advancement of major medical associations in the field of rehabilitation.

Dr. Matthews is Department Chair and Professor of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine as well as PPAARDI-in-Chief and Fischahs Chair Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado.

For information on how to donate to the Dennis J. Matthews Fund, please go to:

You may also contact the CU Foundation Office at 303-813-7935.

Video: Aspen Ideas Festival | CU Anschutz Medical Campus

Here at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, ideas flow freely between curious minds, skilled practitioners, collaborative data geeks and groundbreaking researchers. The result? Future-changing advances in personalized medicine, chronic disease and patient-centered care. Welcome to the New West. Here, the good guys wear the masks. Watch the video on YouTube.



Coming Up

Physical Therapy Program 70th Anniversary Celebration, Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80204
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s Annual AssemblyDenver, CO - Learn More


Contact Info

Phone: 303-724-1264
Fax: 303-724-0863

Physical Address:
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
12631 East 17th Avenue, Academic Office 1, Room 2513
Aurora, Colorado 80045
  (Please use the physical address for all mailings from carriers other than the United States Postal Service)

Mailing Address:
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Mail Stop F-493
12631 East 17th Avenue, Academic Office 1, Room 2513
Aurora, Colorado 80045

Map to Our Location
UC Denver PMR Admin Offices


Follow Us

Facebook Like CU SOM Twitter Like 




The Spine Center at University of Colorado Hospital

The Spine Center at the University of Colorado Hospital specializes in treating people with lower back and neck pain using proven therapies and cutting-edge technology.

Patient's services include physical therapy, medication, spinal injections or surgery, or any combination of these treatments. A collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach among orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical/occupational therapists, psychologists, integrative medicine, and anesthesiologists fits within the model first espoused by Dr. Gersten.

As the sole academic medical center in the region, the Spine Center is the only provider in the Front Range to take such a comprehensive approach to spine and neck care. In fact, because of our high levels of experience, we are regularly asked to evaluate cases as a second opinion.

Learn More about The Spine Center > >

Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine

The mission of the Physical Therapy Program is To provide Colorado and the nation with programs of excellence in education, clinical care, research & scholarship, and community service.

Learn More about the CU Physical Therapy Program > >

CU Sports Medicine

Competitive and recreational athletes of all types and ages receive comprehensive care for sports and related injuries at CU Sports Medicine. Covering the full range of sports injuries throughout the Front Range, we encompass care for hip & knee, hand, foot & ankle, elbow & shoulder, and spine.

At CU Sports Medicine, patients can have​ diagnostic tests and a physician's evaluation on the same day in the same location. Our multidisciplinary team has two goals: a timely and accurate diagnosis, and the fastest recovery possible.

Learn More about CU Sports Medicine > >

History of the CU Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department (PM&R)

Founded in 1946, The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is one of the oldest departments of PM&R in the United States. The first chairman was Dr. Harold Dinken, who was also the first physiatrist in Colorado. He quickly expanded the department and accepted Dr. George Twombly as the first resident in PM&R in 1947. That same year, Dr. Carl Hoffman was recruited as the first Director of PM&R at the Denver VA Hospital. Dr Dinken went on to establish the Rehabilitation program at General Rose Hospital.

Having joined the faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1949, Dr. Jerome W. Gersten became Chairman in 1957. Under Dr. Gersten's leadership, the Department expanded tremendously in clinical service, education and research. Dr. Gersten was one of the first, true "academic physiatrists".

He conducted basic science research on the use and effects of physical agents; muscle and nerve function; effects of stress on muscle function; cardiopulmonary rehabilitation; electromyography; and the delivery of rehabilitation health services. The Department was a nationally recognized Research and Training Center in cardiac rehabilitation. Dr. Gersten was a visionary expanding the concept of the Rehabilitation Team.

Today, the CU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has three primary focuses: Education, Research and Clinical Care.