Development of deep brain stimulation methods to treat minimally conscious brain-injured patients


Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian


Nicholas Schiff, MD, the Jerold B. Katz Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, and Joseph Fins, MD, the E. Williams Davis, Jr., MD Professor of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medicine


A breakthrough study published in Naturereported that a 38-year-old man who spent more than five years in a minimally conscious state as a result of a severe head injury was able to communicate regularly with family members and recovered his ability to move after having his brain stimulated with pulses of electric current. The findings provide the first rigorous evidence that a procedure could initiate and sustain recovery in such a severely disabled person, years after the injury occurred.