Karen Gallagher is a senior postdoctoral research scholar with the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the impact of service-related conditions on higher-order cognitive processes in military veterans. She has examined possible behavioral assessments that are sensitive to subtle deficits in executive function and working memory.
The published findings from Gallagher's dissertation provide evidence that commonly used neuropsychological tests are not sensitive measures of mTBI deficits, but higher-level tasks and tasks with extended trials and timeframes do identify differences in veterans with mTBI histories, anxiety, and PTS. Her recent publication in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology presents preliminary results showing that veterans with a history of mTBI are less accurate at delayed recall of narrative information than veterans with no history of mTBI. She also researches treatment approaches to support cognition in military veterans entering college.
Gallagher's Veteran Cognition and Academic Success research project emerged from her military service, and clinical training and experience, largely focusing on acquired neurologically-based deficits in adults. She developed a Veteran Clinic within the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Arizona State University ASU to provide grant-funded treatment to veterans experiencing memory and learning difficulties. She is the founding director of the Office for Veteran Health Solutions in the College of Health Solutions at ASU. The office brings together researchers to work for interdisciplinary, translational research that identifies, validates and distributes evidenced-based solutions to obstacles faced by student veterans as they transition from military service to academic and civilian life.
Prior to receiving her doctorate in speech and hearing science in 2017, Gallagher worked in school and medical settings assessing and treating cognitive-communication disorders across the lifespan. In the last decade, her clinical work focused on adults with acquired cognitive-communication disorders in a medical setting including The Barrow Neurological Institute. In the last eight years, she has been a clinical associate professor in speech and hearing science at ASU where she continues this focus in clinical and research work. Gallagher teaches two graduate level courses, one in Medical Aspects of Speech-Language Pathology and one in Right Hemisphere Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Dementia.
Gallagher, K.L., Azuma, T. (2018). Analysis of story recall in military veterans with and without mTBI: Preliminary results. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 27(1S), 485-494.