Central Thalamic Stimulation for Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) afflicts hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, producing chronic cognitive disabilities that lack effective treatment. Preliminary studies with TBI patients and non-human primates suggest that these cognitive disabilities may be due to disrupted circuit function in the brain, specifically involving impaired connections between the thalamus and the frontal cortex. This first-in-man early clinical feasibility study funded by the NIH-NINDS BRAIN Initiative is testing the use of central thalamic deep brain stimulation (CT-DBS) as a potential treatment for chronic cognitive impairment after severe to moderate traumatic brain injury. CT-DBS will be tested as a therapy for the survivors of moderate to severe TBI who recover to independent functional levels but remain significantly limited in their activities by chronic cognitive impairment (difficulties with sustained attentional effort, working memory, processing speed and fatigue). We hope to obtain a variety of behavioral and electrophysiological data to inform development of a next-generation device therapy for cognitive impairment associated with TBI. This study is led by Nicholas Schiff, MD (Weill Cornell Medical College), Joseph Giacino, PhD (Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital), Christopher Butson, PhD (University of Utah), Jaimie Henderson, MD (Stanford University), and Andre Machado, MD, PhD (Cleveland Clinic).