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Media & Awards

September 18, 2018

Practice Guideline: Disorders of Consciousness. Neurology Times

An interdisciplinary group of experts, led by Dr. Joseph Giacino, convened by the American Academy of Neurology, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, released new guidelines for the management of patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states (MCS). The guidelines serve as an update to the 1995 recommendations as well as the 2002 case definition of MCS. The full guidelines, patient and caregiver tools, and physician tools can be accessed from the AAN website:


October 3, 2017

Spaulding’s TBI and Burn Injury Model System Sites Renewed by NIDILRR. Spaulding Rehab News
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital announced today that both its Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program and Burn Injury Rehabilitation Program have been selected as Model System sites by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). These selections combined with last year’s selection of Spaulding as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System Site make Spaulding the only provider nationally to be selected as a Model System in all three specialties at the same time.


July 20, 2017

fMRI, EEG may detect consciousness in patients with acute, severe traumatic brain injury: Massachusetts General study the first to search for covert consciousness in ICU patients. ScienceDaily
A new study finds that the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography may be able to identify ICU patients with severe traumatic brain injuries who have a level of consciousness not revealed by the standard bedside neurological examination.


August 2, 2016

When Dylan’s Skull Was Crushed in a Car Accident, Doctors Said Recovery Was Hopeless. They Were Wrong. Reader’s Digest
The human mind has a previously hidden aptitude for recovery. Here is the story of one young man’s journey back from the brink.


May 15, 2016

“Just keep going” story on patient Dylan Rizzo.  CBS News
“Just keep going'” are words that are easy to say, much harder to live by. Yet one young man who suffered a near-fatal injury is managing to live by that principle, and then some. Lee Cowan has his story.


May 9, 2016

Life or Death Decisions: The Brain’s “Self-Repair” Process May Go On for Years. NBC News
Neuropsychologist Dr. Joe Giacino says that after a traumatic brain injury, the brain’s ability to repair itself may go on for a longer period of time than originally thought.


June 11, 2015

How One Brain Came Back from UnconsciousnessNY Magazine
Despite its encircling fortress of bone, the human brain is especially vulnerable to physical insult. There are approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries in the United States each year, and although most of them are mild or moderate, thousands result in severe brain damage. Those injuries always happen on the same day: day zero, a day that marks the start of a fateful and often flawed prognostic calendar. 


October 14, 2014

2014 William Fields Caveness Award. Harvard
The Brain Injury Association of America recently announced that Joseph T. Giacino, PhD, was selected as the recipient of the 2014 William Fields Caveness Award. Dr. Giacino serves as the Director of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology and Disorders of Consciousness Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation and as an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. This award is presented to an individual who, through research on both a national and international level, has made outstanding contributions to bettering the lives of people who have sustained a brain injury. 


August 14, 2013

New Measure of Consciousness Track Our Waking States. Scientific American
This fairly simple metric for neural activity could guide treatment for people with brain injuries.


February 29, 2012

Parkinson’s Drug May Help with Brain Injuries, Report Finds. NY Times
Daily doses of a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease significantly improved function in severely brain-injured people thought to be beyond the reach of treatment, scientists reported on Wednesday, providing the first rigorous evidence to date that any therapy reliably helps such patients.


February 29, 2012

Amantadine Speeds Recovery From Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. ABC News
A drug used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease also speeds recovery from severe traumatic brain injuries, a new study has found.


July 6, 2011

Rediscovering Consciousness in People Diagnosed as “Vegetative”. Discover Magazine
Often people with bad brain injuries seem unresponsive, but many still have thoughts, feelings, and memories flickering in and out of consciousness. Can neuroscience rescue these lost brains?


July 31, 2010

Troops with Traumatic Brain Injury Face Long Road to Recovery. ABC News
More than three months after being pulled from the water of the canal, Remsburg, 27, had emerged into consciousness. On Jan. 13, doctors said he was officially awake. Remsburg’s reawakening is one of several unexpected developments being documented at four special Department of Veterans Affairs “emerging consciousness” programs here and across the nation. Brain-damaged patients reduced to vegetative states by illness, accidents or wounds are waking up.


July 21, 2009

Doctors missing consciousness in vegetative patientsNew Scientist
If there’s one thing worse than being in a coma, it’s people thinking you are in one when you aren’t. Yet a new comparison of methods for detecting consciousness suggests that around 40 per cent of people diagnosed as being in a vegetative state are in fact “minimally conscious”.


August 3, 2007

Man Regains Speech After Brain Stimulation. NY Times
A 38-year-old man who spent more than five years in a mute, barely conscious state as a result of a severe head injury is now communicating regularly with family members and recovering his ability to move after having his brain stimulated with pulses of electric current, neuroscientists are reporting.


March 23, 2007

Doctors ‘Awaken’ Man 6 Years After Severe Brain Injury. ABC News
In a scene reminiscent of Oliver Sacks’ book Awakenings, doctors have managed to partially rekindle the mind of a man who had been in a minimally conscious state for six years.