New Hope for Patients with Severe Brain Injury

Spaulding Rehab Network is pleased to announce an innovative neuro-rehabilitation program for individuals who experience prolonged disorders of consciousness following severe acquired brain injury or ABI. The overall goal of the Disorders of Consciousness program is to maximize functional recovery through the application of evidence-based assessement and treatment procedures.

Recognizing that rates and courses of recovery in ABI vary widely, and the "one-size fits all" model of rehabilitation is likely to be ineffective, Spaulding Director Rehabilitation Neuropsychology Joseph Giacino is leading a multidisciplinary team in developing a three-pronged program of clinical care, research and education, to better understand the variations in brain activity and behavioral responsiveness that often accompany severe ABI. This new understanding may result in improved treatments and better outcomes for these individuals, who often spend years in nursing facility care.

The SRN DoC program is accepting patients from acute care hospitals who are age 18-65 with severe acquired brain injury who are medically stable and have a legal surrogate in place. These individuals have not yet regained the ability to follow instructions and/or communicate reliably. Spaulding Boston has developed a specialized rehabilitation program for individuals who have regained some evidence of conscious awareness, while patients who remain unconscious and are still in a vegetative state will receive care at Spaulding Cambridge's specialized neuromonitoring unit. Each program matches rehabilitation care to the individual's current level of function and immediate care needs. SRN is also planning to partner with area SNFs and state agencies specializing in brain injury to provide training and education to assist with long-term neuromonitoring and continued recovery.

Individuals admitted to the Spaulding DoC program may also able to participate in cutting-edge research protocols conducted in conjuction with academic medical centers. Participation in approved research trials allows access to evaluation and treatment options that may not otherwise be available in traditional inpatient rehabilitation programs. Existing protocols include specialized neuroimaging studies to aid diagnostic assessment and clinical trials designed to influence the course of recovery. All research activities have undergone rigorous review and are monitored through study completion.

For more information on the SRN DoC program, please contact Dr. Joseph Giacino at 617-573-2742 or jgiacino@partners.org

Media Contacts

For media inquiries, please contact the Spaulding Communications Department at (617) 952-5325 or by email