Spaulding Rehab Network, Boston, has introduced a neurorehabilitation program for individuals who experience prolonged disorders of consciousness (DOC) following severe acquired brain injury (ABI).

The overall goal of the Disorders of Consciousness program is to maximize functional recovery through the application of evidence-based assessment 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, Joseph Giacino, Spaulding director of rehabilitation neuropsychology  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 program is accepting patients from acute care hospitals who are age 18 to 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.

Individuals admitted to the program may also able to participate in cutting-edge research protocols conducted in conjunction 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.

[Source: [removed]Spaulding Rehab Network[/removed]]