We are experts in deep brain stimulation and spinal cord stimulation.

The Center for Neuromodulation at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is one of the nation’s leading centers in developing neuromodulation treatments for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Neuromodulation, which involves the use of implantable devices that alter nervous system activity through the use of electrical stimulation, is one of the fastest-growing medical specialties.

Our neuromodulation team is among the most experienced in the country. We perform deep brain stimulation for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and obsessive compulsive disorder. We also perform spinal cord stimulation for treating patients with failed back syndrome, radicular pain syndrome, post-laminectomy pain, peripheral neuropathy and complex regional pain syndrome.

The research we’re conducting is developing new neuromodulation procedures and applications.  

Why choose Ohio State's Center for Neuromodulation?

Unique in the Region: Ohio State is the only healthcare facility offering deep brain stimulation (DBS) in central Ohio.

Renowned Medical Director: Ali Rezai, MD, a world-renowned neurosurgeon and neuromodulation specialist, is the director of the Center for Neuromodulation. Dr. Rezai has performed more than 1,700 DBS surgeries and thousands more neuromodulation procedures. He has been involved in pioneering work involving the use of brain pacemakers for treating Parkinson’s disease, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Research: We are exploring how deep brain stimulation and spinal cord stimulation can treat other chronic disabilities such as epilepsy, stroke, headache and pain. We hope to eventually use DBS to treat traumatic brain injury, addiction, eating disorders, Alzheimer's disease and autism as well.   

Nationally Recognized: Ohio State is routinely recognized for our excellence in neurosurgery, neurology and neuromodulation.

Dr. Ali Rezai talks about our innovative neuromodulation program.

Deep Brain Stimulation

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

DBS involves surgically implanting tiny electrodes into the brain and connecting them to a small pacemaker-like device (with a programmable battery) that has been implanted into the chest wall. The electrodes deliver tiny electrical signals that calm abnormal brain signals, alleviating disabling symptoms, such as tremors, and restoring function to the patient.  

We frequently treat patients with these diagnoses: 

Essential Tremor

DBS is considered when patients with persistent and severe tremor are not receiving significant benefits from medications or the side effects are too severe.

Parkinson's Disease

DBS is considered when a patient has idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, and one of the following issues:

  • Debilitating hand or leg tremor that fails to respond to medications
  • Idiopathic Parkinson's disease with continued good benefit from treatment with medications, but with frequent return of disabling rigidity, slowness of movements, tremor due to "on-off" fluctuations or excessive uncontrollable movements called “dyskinesia”
  • Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease but failure to tolerate all Parkinson’s medications due to severe side effects

Dystonia

DBS is considered when a patient has significant debilitating symptoms of primary dystonia and has failed to respond to oral medication, botulinum toxin therapy (Botox) and other treatment modalities.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

DBS is considered when a patient has severe OCD symptoms that have lasted for more than five years and have failed to respond to medication and cognitive therapies.

Learn how DBS helped these patients

Don talks about his DBS surgery.

Don, a patient with essential tremor, talks about his surgery and the amazing results.

Pat explains the surgical process.

Pat, a tremor patient, was nervous about surgery until her surgeon explained the process.

Roger talks about how deep brain stimulation improved his life.

Roger, a patient with Parkinson's disease, shares how deep brain stimulation helped him get back to his hobbies.


Steps to becoming a DBS candidate

If you are interested in becoming a candidate for deep brain stimulation at Ohio State’s Center for Neuromodulation, you must have a physician referral. Contact your healthcare provider for an initial evaluation and referral to Ohio State’s Center for Neuromodulation. Your healthcare provider will complete a referral form and submit it to our center. You will then be scheduled to receive a comprehensive screening and evaluation by our multidisciplinary team.

Screening and Evaluation

Each patient who is referred to Ohio State’s Center for Neuromodulation for a DBS consultation will be scheduled for a comprehensive screening and evaluation to determine the likelihood of a successful response. Here are the steps involved in the screening and evaluation:

  • You will receive an evaluation with a movement disorder neurologist or psychiatrist and functional neurosurgeon to assess various aspects of your disease, symptoms, progression, previous treatments and overall health.
  • You will have brain imaging performed and reviewed by our neuroradiologist.
  • You will have a comprehensive evaluation by a neuropsychologist. The neuropsychological testing helps to better understand your cognitive (thinking, memory, concentration, attention) status and provides a baseline for the team to monitor you over time.
  • Our team has a detailed discussion with you and your family about surgery goals, expectations, benefits and side effects.

Once these evaluations are completed, we discuss our findings as a team and make a final recommendation regarding surgery and other therapies, such as further medication adjustments and an individual rehabilitation program.

We work closely with you, your family members, your caregivers and your referring physicians to develop a comprehensive and holistic care plan.

If you are considering DBS, it is important to have realistic expectations about what symptoms may or may not improve. Additionally, your family and support structure need to be in place to help you with follow-up care and appointments.  

Spinal Cord Stimulation

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation involves electrical stimulation of the spinal cord to interrupt pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain. It is a proven, safe and effective therapeutic approach for managing chronic pain of the neck, back, arms and legs, which may occur following spinal surgery. SCS uses a medical device similar to a pacemaker, which is placed beside the spinal cord, to deliver mild electrical impulses before pain signals arrive. Instead of pain, patients feel a tingling sensation from the neurostimulation in areas where the pain is felt. 

Who should consider SCS?

SCS can benefit you if you have chronic pain of the neck, back, arms and legs occurring as a result of spinal surgery. Some of the conditions treated with SCS include:

  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Post-laminectomy pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy) 

You may want to consider SCS when:

  • Other treatment options have failed to adequately provide pain relief
  • Your doctor understands what is causing your chronic pain
  • Further traditional surgeries are not recommended
  • You don’t have a serious, untreated dependence on pain medication
  • You have passed a psychological evaluation
  • You don’t have medical issues that would make surgery difficult
  • You have had a successful neurostimulation screening test

Benefits

Overall benefits of SCS may include:

  • Significant and sustained reduction in back and leg pain
  • Improved ability to function and participate in activities of daily living
  • Fewer oral pain medications
  • Ability to stop the therapy by turning it off or surgically removing the SCS device
  • Ability to adjust the therapy based on pain level
  • With improvements in a person’s pain, the potential ability to participate in other forms of therapy to better manage the pain

How is SCS performed?

SCS is performed in two phases. A “trial” phase is done first to see if you can get pain relief from the device. You are normally discharged within 24 hours after the electrode is implanted, and it stays in place for five to seven days. If there is pain relief, a permanent device is implanted, which requires a surgical procedure and an overnight stay at the hospital.

It is important to know that SCS may reduce but not cure your pain. You may feel a tingling instead of the pain, and it may improve your ability to function.

Am I a candidate?

If you are interested in becoming a candidate for spinal cord stimulation at Ohio State’s Center for Neuromodulation, you must have a physician referral. Contact your healthcare provider for an initial evaluation and referral to Ohio State’s Center for Neuromodulation. Your healthcare provider will complete a referral form and submit it to our center. You will then be scheduled to receive a comprehensive screening and evaluation by our multidisciplinary team. 

It is important to know that SCS may reduce but not cure your pain. You may feel a tingling instead of the pain, and it may improve your ability to function.

Patient Stories

Don

Don

Don, a retired artist, was losing control of his hands because of his essential tremor.

"There were things that we just couldn't do anymore."

For an artist, having control of your hands means everything. So when Don, a retired art teacher, started experiencing shakiness in his right hand, it threatened to put his lifelong love on hold. Don was diagnosed with essential tremor, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable movement. Trying to ease it with medication, Don and his wife Sandy spent their retirement splitting their time in Sylvania, Ohio and in Florida.

Despite medication, Don's tremor persisted. Soon, not only was painting out of the question, but Don's tremor was becoming so bad it was increasingly difficult for him to do things on his own. Simple things like cutting his food and eating required Sandy's help. The active couple started avoiding social situations and ate in the far corner of their favorite Florida restaurant to avoid embarrassment.

"I was a little apprehensive about surgery."

From the beginning, Don's neurologist recommended he consult with The Ohio State University Medical Center about their successful Deep Brain Stimulation therapy (DBS). DBS is an advanced procedure that involves surgically implanting a battery-operated device, similar to a pacemaker, into the body to deliver electric stimulation to the brain.

Although it sounded impressive, Don was apprehensive and scared of the idea of someone operating on his brain. Instead, the couple decided to keep trying different medications to treat Don's tremor. But after a few years of taking many different combinations of more than 30 medications with no relief in sight, Don realized no pill was going to cure his condition.

"It got to the point where I had to do something."

Don's essential tremor continued to interfere with his quality of life, and it was becoming clear medication wasn't the answer. So the couple followed Don's neurologist's recommendation and went to talk to Ohio State. As soon as they walked into the office, they felt completely at ease with neurologist Dr. Agrawal and neurosurgeon Dr. Rezai, who told the couple they thought Don was the perfect candidate for DBS.

They began testing soon after to make sure of Don's eligibility. DBS requires two surgeries. The first places electrodes into the brain, and the second implants the programmer into the chest. After a few days of assessment, Don was cleared for surgery.

"If I knew then what I know now, I would have done it right away and not put it off."

Don's first surgery lasted less than six hours and was completely pain-free. It required Don to stay awake so they could assess the control of his hand throughout the surgery. Sandy was amazed when someone came out of the operating room halfway through to show off a perfectly sketched drawing Don had made.

Now, Don can control his essential tremor with a click of a button. To stop the shaking, he simply holds the antenna near his chest to turn the programmer on. He returns to Ohio State every six months to see his nurse Shannon, who helps him adjust the programmer's settings. Don's life is back in control. He's back to painting and is looking forward to going to Florida again. What's first on the agenda? Dining right out in the middle of his favorite restaurant.

Brenda

Brenda

Before Brenda had deep brain stimulation (DBS), her days centered around controlling her symptoms.

Before Brenda Reams had deep brain stimulation (DBS), her days centered around controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Since having DBS surgery, her days now revolve around her interests – church activities and her grandchildren.

Brenda’s symptoms began a decade ago. She noticed more mistakes than normal when she was typing and a weakness in her left hand. The symptoms – leaning, foot dragging and lack of arm swinging when she walked – progressed to include her entire left side. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Medication helped ease the symptoms, as long as she adhered to a strict regimen, but her quality of life suffered.

“Eventually, I had to take medication every two hours or the symptoms would become obvious.”

“I was a registered nurse working in a hospital, and it was difficult to stay on top of my medication schedule. I worked hard to compensate for the left-side weakness while I was at work, and was exhausted by the time I got home. I felt like I had no strength or stamina for anything else.”

Brenda quit her demanding nursing job of three decades. To compound that disappointment, she also felt unable to take care of her four grandchildren. “I wanted to do things with them and dote on them. When I couldn’t, I was disappointed in myself,” she says.

“I feel like a different person. I play ball with my grandkids and keep up with them. They mean everything to me.”

After DBS, her situation changed and Brenda perked up physically and emotionally, she says. Brenda learned about DBS after being referred to Dr. Agrawal, a neurologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She watched DVDs about the procedure and became eager to learn if she was a candidate. Comprehensive testing confirmed the surgery could help her condition, and she had the procedure eight months later.

Dr. Rezai, neurosurgeon at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center performed Brenda’s DBS surgery, implanting tiny electrodes in her brain and a small pacemaker-like device in her upper chest. Thin wires then connected the device to the electrodes, delivering electrical pulses that blocked the abnormal signals from the brain. Two days after surgery, Brenda was back at home.

“If you met me, you wouldn’t even know I have Parkinson’s disease.”

“When I meet other people who have the disease, I give them copies of the DVDs and encourage them to check out DBS. My time at Ohio State was superb. I dearly love Dr. Agrawal. He is very patient centered.”

Brenda still takes medication to help control her symptoms, but she now takes lower doses less frequently. She is concerned Parkinson’s symptoms may one day travel to her right side, but she’s confident Drs. Agrawal and Rezai will be able to use DBS to help.

“If my left-side symptoms worsen, the doctors can change the programming in the implanted system to improve them. And if I get symptoms on the right side, they can do another DBS procedure,” Brenda says confidently. “I feel like DBS is a miracle, and the doctors’ ability to do this is amazing. I know they will be able to help me control my Parkinson’s disease so my life doesn’t have to revolve around it. I’m a Type A personality. I like being in control of my own body and life.”

Pat

Pat

Pat started to avoid social situations because of her tremor.

“I was avoiding more and more social situations because of my condition.”

Approximately six years ago, Pat started noticing tremors getting worse in her right hand. She didn’t think it was noticeable and kept it a secret from most people that she knew. But she began having difficulty grooming – doing her hair and putting on makeup. She also had trouble cooking and was no longer going out with friends in groups. “I was avoiding more and more social situations,” Pat explains.

About three years ago, Pat mentioned how the tremors were affecting her life to her family doctor. He started her on some medications. After trying a few different medications without much success, her doctor suggested that she should see a neurologist. “I remember they asked me to sign a form in the hospital and I really didn’t recognize my own writing it was so bad,” Pat relates. “So when I saw my family doctor the next time I said, ‘I guess it’s time to see a neurologist.’”

“I really feel very fortunate and blessed.”

“I really feel very fortunate and blessed that I found Dr. Rezai at exactly the right time … right when I needed him,” Pat says. Dr. Rezai explained in detail about how they would perform the surgery, how long she would be in hospital and what improvements she would likely see after surgery.

She was asleep for part of the surgery, but awake when they needed her to answer questions and perform certain tasks as they tested the device. “It was pretty awesome to be able to be able to write my name, hold a glass, touch my nose and all of these different things right there on the operating room table,” Pat explains. “In fact, I went to wipe away a tear when I wrote my name. And someone said ‘Why is she crying?’” Shannon, the certified nurse practitioner, said, ‘Haven’t you ever heard of tears of joy?’”

“I consider deep brain surgery like a miracle”

After Pat’s surgery, Pat recalls that her friends wanted to do bring meals over and she told them she really didn’t need help because of the tremendous improvements from her surgery. “I was able to eat soup and do everything with my right hand that I haven’t for a long time,” Pat relates. While she has her deep brain stimulation device on all day, she turns it off at night. “First thing when I wake up I turn it on and life is good again,” she says. “Many times I think it’s good that I do turn the device off because it gives me a reality check of what life would be like if I didn’t have the surgery.” Pat adds, “I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It has made such a difference. I just really feeI that I have my life back.” Sometimes when she’s eating a bowl of soup or carrying her coffee cup to the kitchen table, Pat remembers that she couldn’t do these things a year ago. “My friends will tell me it’s either magic or a miracle. And Pat concludes, “To anyone who is thinking of deep brain stimulation, I really consider it like a miracle.”

“It really makes me realize how fortunate I am that I have had the surgery.”

When Pat met recently with her neurologist, Punit Agrawal, DO, she told him,“I am doing great. It has been able six months since my last appointment and it has made such a difference in my life. Everything I go to do I just do naturally now.”

She demonstrated to Dr. Agrawal the amazing difference that DBS has made in her abilities. With the DBS turned off, her tremors are very evident. She can’t touch her nose without great effort and her writing is hardly legible. When the device is turned on, she can easily repeat the same tasks illustrating the effectiveness of DBS. “It makes me realize how fortunate I am that I made the decision to have the surgery.

“I feel as though I have my life back again.”

In retrospect, Pat acknowledges that she was more depressed than she realized because there were so many things she couldn’t do. “Initially, I didn’t think my condition was severe enough to warrant surgery,” she explains. Pat, who is a retired RN, was apprehensive initially about having brain surgery. “What really made all the difference in the world was my trust and confidence in my doctors.”

“Since the surgery, I feel as though I have my life back again,” Pat shares. “It’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I’ve had excellent results. In my estimation, my tremor has improved about 100 percent.”

Rob

Rob

Rob was shocked by the diagnosis of Parkinson’s at the age of 30.

Rob Reeser was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he was only 30 years old. He’d been married for 10 years and had three children. He was shocked by the diagnosis and disheartened by the likely course of the disease. Last year, he had deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and says he feels like the clock has been turned back 12 years.

“I feel like I did pre-Parkinson’s. I have my life back, and my kids have their dad back.”

Reeser, now 42, lives in Circleville, Ohio, coaches his 12-year-old daughter’s basketball team and golfs with his son, 16. He plays baseball and basketball, and exercises on a treadmill.

Before DBS surgery, Reeser had severe tremors in his arms and legs, and rigidity (dyskenesis). The symptoms, which began as a severe tremor in his thumb, progressed over a decade.

“I was a municipal clerk. When I could no longer write, I had to quit work.”

“Eventually, I was unable to do activities with my kids. My life changed. I couldn’t do normal things people my age could do. My wife, Deanna, said I acted like I was 60. I tried every medication possible, and they caused the dyskenesia. DBS was my only hope.”

During DBS surgery Reeser could tell the procedure was a success. “Dr. Rezai had me hold a glass of water up to my mouth to see if I could drink. Before, I could only drink through a straw because of my tremors. I easily took a drink from the glass. It felt awesome. I was so excited.”

Dr. Rezai implanted tiny electrodes in Reeser’s brain. Thin wires connect the electrodes to a small pacemaker-like device in his chest wall. The electrodes deliver electrical stimulation to block abnormal signals from the brain that cause the disabling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

“If DBS surgery hadn’t been available, my life would revolve around medications,” says Reeser. “People who have Parkinson’s should know things aren’t hopeless. This surgery is the hope.”

Roger

Roger

Roger’s Parkinson’s disease threatened to end his woodworking hobby.

"It’s my hobby and my passion. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Roger Evans has been a woodworker for 40 years, making detailed cabinets and custom furniture. Roger retired from a broadcasting career as a popular radio personality in the Huntington-Ashland area, and woodworking fills his days. That he can still pursue his hobby even though he has tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease is remarkable.

Without the leading-edge treatment he’s had over the last two years, Roger’s tremors would prevent him from feeding himself, shaving or operating a remote control, much less a power tool. But if you meet him today, you would not even know he has a debilitating tremor disorder. Roger had deep brain stimulation (DBS) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. This neurological surgical procedure implants tiny electrodes into the brain. The electrodes are connected by thin wires to a small battery-like device that is implanted in the chest wall. The electrodes deliver small electrical signals that calm the abnormal signals that cause the tremors.

Roger had DBS to control tremors on his right side. A year later, when his left side began to be affected by tremors, he had DBS to control that side. A single device in Roger’s chest controls both sides.

“It was immediate, and I was amazed."

The first time his device was activated, Roger watched his right hand go from shaking to still. Both sides of his body are tremor-free now. “It’s not a cure - it’s just symptom control. But it has given me my life back. Before, I couldn’t take care of myself. I didn’t want to be a burden to my wife.”

Roger’s tremors began 15 years ago. They were slight and only in his right hand. He saw several neurologists over the next decade as the condition worsened. He tried medications, but they didn’t control his tremors. The cause went undiagnosed until he saw Dr. Agrawal, neurologist at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center two years ago. The Parkinson’s diagnosis hit him “like a kick in the head.”

 “I felt like I’d just been handed a death sentence,” says Roger. “Dr. Agrawal and Dr. Rezai showed me that didn’t have to be the case. The care I had at Ohio State could not have been better, and there was hardly any recovery at all. I wouldn’t have any kind of life without deep brain stimulation.”

 “I know my condition is progressive, so it will get worse. But Dr. Rezai is the top in his field and is doing great things. I’m hoping someday they will find a cure for Parkinson’s.”

Roger showed his gratitude to his care team at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center by getting busy in his woodworking shop. “The doctors and nurses all have cutting boards now,” he says. “It’s the least I could do to show my appreciation.”

Research

Research & Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are the safest and fastest form of research to identify medical therapies that work and improve health. Clinical trials, using human volunteers, can involve new or existing medications, devices, diagnostic and surgical procedures as well as new uses for existing therapies. Our researchers work closely with other experts across the university such as scientists, clinicians, biomedical engineers and physicians to bring new diagnostic and innovative treatments to our patients. 

Enroll in a clinical trial.



Deep Brain Stimulation for treatment of severe disability from Traumatic Brain Injury

The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of deep brain stimulation as a treatment for people who have severe disability due to traumatic brain injury, specifically in the areas of mood, decision-making and self-control.

Deep Brain Stimulation for treatment of the cognitive, behavioral and disability of Alzheimer's disease

This study is being done to look at to the safety and effectiveness of providing electrical stimulation deep in the brain for people with disability due to Alzheimer’s disease who have not been able to improve using medications alone.

Deep Brain Stimulation for morbid, treatment-refractory Obesity

This study is being done to look at how helpful, safe and practical it would be to provide electrical stimulation to the inside of the brain for people with morbid, treatment-resistant obesity. It is believed that DBS can improve decision-making, mood and self-control. This study is for people who have not been able to control their body mass index through other conventional methods, including through Roux-en-Y (gastric bypass) surgery.

Stimulation of the Cervical Sympathetic Ganglion (SPG) for treatment of Asthma

The purpose of this study is to determine if the stimulation of the SPG can regulate asthma attacks in asthmatics.

High Definition Neuromuscular Stimulation in Tetraplegia

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate high-definition, non-invasive neuromuscular stimulation of an upper extremity in tetraplegic participants to generate movement.

SubQStim Pivotal Study: A prospective, randomized, controlled study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Subcutaneous Nerve Stimulation

This research study is for people who still experience chronic back pain, despite having undergone back surgery to help relieve the pain. This study is evaluating if an investigational medical device can help relieve back pain by using mild electrical currents.

Our Team

The neuromodulation team comprises more than 40 specialists. Dr. Ali Rezai and his team are international leaders at the forefront of scientific discoveries and innovations in neuromodulation, such as development of MRI-compatible neurostimulators, an MRI-guided brain pacemaker implantation technique, closed loop sensing and monitoring and an external handheld neuromodulation device to treat headaches.

The team is among the first in the world to conduct clinical trials of neuromodulation treatments for psychiatric disorders, traumatic brain injury, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, addictions, autism, quadriplegia, chronic pain, back pain, headaches, heart failure and other conditions.

Ali Rezai, MD
Director, Comprehensive Brain and Spine Center
Director, Center for Neuromodulation
Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Chair in Neuromodulation
Associate Dean of Neurosciences Professor, Neurosurgery and Neuroscience 

A board certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Rezai’s clinical areas of expertise are the neurosurgical management of patients with severe movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor, psychiatric conditions such as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, traumatic brain injury and chronic pain. Dr. Rezai’s research focuses on mechanisms of neurostimulation, delineation of abnormal brain circuitry underlying disease processes, as well as developing neuromodulation devices and novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of neurological disorders. He has been involved in pioneering the use of brain pacemakers for treating Parkinson’s disease, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and traumatic brain injury. His current research focuses on developing neuromodulation therapies to treat migraine headaches, asthma, addictions, Alzheimer’s, obesity, post-traumatic stress disorders and autism.

Punit Agrawal, DO
Assistant Professor, Neurology 

Dr. Agrawal has clinical interest in the use of deep brain stimulation therapy for the treatment of approved movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor and primary dystonia. He also is trained in and practices treatment of focal dystonia with botulinum toxin therapy. He is involved in clinical research trials for movement disorders and neuromodulation.

Marcia Bockbrader, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

Dr. Bockbrader’s clinical interests include acute inpatient neurorehabilitation after central nervous system injury from stroke, traumatic brain injury, cancer or spinal cord injury. Her research areas include recreational therapy interventions to enhance the rehabilitation process, neuromodulation to improve function and quality of life for patients with disabilities and innovative ways to use technology in neurorehabilitation and education.

Jennifer Bogner, PhD, ABPP
Chair, Research and Academic Affairs, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

One of Dr. Bogner’s areas of research is the study of factors that are associated with long-term outcomes following traumatic brain injury. She is the co-principal investigator of the Ohio Regional TBI Model System, a study that follows individuals for many years after their injury to find out what factors determine the best outcomes. Dr. Bogner is also interested in the study of substance use disorders after brain injury.

Anthony Caparso, PhD
Research Scientist, Neuroscience 

Dr. Caparso is a biomedical engineer who focuses on neural stimulation.

Barbara Changizi, MD
Professor, Neurology 

Dr. Changizi cares for patients in the Movement Disorders Division of the Department of Neurology, where she treats Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonian syndromes, tremor (including essential tremor, multiple sclerosis tremor), dystonia, ataxia and Tourette syndrome. She is an expert in botulinum toxin administration for dystonia, tremor, tics and hemifacial spasm.

John Corrigan, PhD, ABPP
Director, Rehabilitation Psychology Director, Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. 

Dr. Corrigan is the project director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, a multicenter research program funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Milind Deogaonkar, MBBS
Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery 

Dr. Deogaonkar’s clinical areas of interest are deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease, movement disorders, spinal cord stimulation for pain, peripheral nerve stimulation for pain and intrathecal pumps for spasticity. His current research resides in neuromodulation, neural circuitry and functional neuroimaging.

Lynne Gauthier, PhD
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

Dr. Gauthier uses neuroimaging techniques to study the clinical effectiveness of constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy), which is used to treat hemiparesis (weakness on one side) resulting from stroke, cerebral palsy and brain injury. She works with individuals who have experienced brain injuries to aid them in overcoming emotional and physical challenges that can accompany recovery.

Timothy Goble, PhD
Deep Brain Stimulation Neurophysiologist
Assistant Research Professor 

Dr. Goble specializes in human and animal neuromodulation research. He is studying new applications of the DBS procedure.

Liang Guo, PhD
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Neuroscience

Dr. Guo’s research areas focus on neural-interfacing technology, neural prosthetics, biotronic engineering and biological cyber-physical systems (bioCPS). His doctoral research focused on the development of high-density stretchable microelectrode arrays for neural and muscular surface interfacing.

Michael Knopp, MD, PhD
Vice Chair of Research, Radiology
Novartis Chair of Imaging Research
Director, Wright Center of Innovation in Biomedical Imaging
Professor, Radiology
Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Neuroscience 

Dr. Knopp is experienced in developing and validating new imaging methodologies with an interest in magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography. His scientific focus has been imaging of angiogenesis (physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels) and response assessment. His current research focus is on functional and molecular hybrid imaging-based assessment as well as validation of imaging methodologies as biomarkers.

W. Jerry Mysiw, MD
Director and Chair, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Medical Director, Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Services
Bert C. Wiley, MD, Chair in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Co-Director, Traumatic Brain Injury Program
Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

In addition to his clinical interests in the rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injury and electromyography, Dr. Mysiw’s research has focused on improving functional outcome after traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

Randy Nelson, PhD
Director and Chair, Neuroscience
Director, Brain Research Institute
Dr. John D. and E. Olive Brumbaugh Chair in Brain Research and Teaching
Professor, Psychology and Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology 

Dr. Nelson’s research program addresses the effects of interactions among the nervous, endocrine and immune systems on health. He has published more than 300 research articles and several books describing studies in seasonality, behavioral endocrinology, biological rhythms, stress, immune function, sex behavior and aggressive behavior. His current studies examine the effects of light at night on metabolism, mood, inflammation and behavior.

Bradley Otto, MD
Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 

Dr. Otto’s area of expertise includes the medical and surgical management of sinus disease as well as minimally invasive skull base surgery. As a member of the Comprehensive Skull Base Surgery Center, Dr. Otto is also interested in the development of new techniques and devices to treat complex skull base disorders.

Douglas Scharre, MD
Director, Division of Cognitive Neurology
Medical Director, Neurobehavior and Memory Disorders Clinics
Director, Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Tissue and Cerebrospinal Repository
Associate Professor of Neurology 

Dr. Scharre conducts clinical research in dementia and mild cognitive impairment that has been funded by National Institutes of Health, foundations and industry. He has many active grants, including clinical drug trials using cognitive enhancers and behavioral therapies, functional neuroimaging studies using SPECT and MRI and screening for mild cognitive impairment and early dementia diagnosis. Dr. Scharre is the creator of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE), a brief pen and paper test used to identify mild cognitive impairment from any cause and early dementia.

Per Sederberg, PhD
Assistant Professor, Computational Memory Lab 

Dr. Sederberg’s primary interests are the successes and failures of human memory. These interests motivate the work in the Computational Memory Lab, which has the overarching goal of developing a comprehensive theory of memory formation and retrieval that links the rich cognitive behavior to its underlying neural mechanisms.

Alexander Taghva, MD
Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery 

Dr. Taghva’s primary clinical interest is in the neuromodulation of movement and psychiatric disorders by deep brain stimulation. He is a co-investigator for an ongoing trial studying deep brain stimulation in patients with traumatic brain injury and a co-author on an FDA Investigational Device Exemption for deep brain stimulation in obesity.

Zachary Weil, PhD
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience 

Dr. Weil’s research interests include basic and translational neuroscience that focuses on how environmental and temporal variables can interact with the immune, autonomic and neuroendocrine systems to control physiology and behavior. Additionally, he is focusing on how environmental variables can render organisms differentially susceptible to nervous system injuries and how these types of phenomena can be studied to help develop treatments for human diseases.

James Young, MD
Assistant Professor-Clinical, Psychiatry 

Dr. Young’s research focuses on the treatment of psychological, psychiatric and nervous disorders. One area involves transcranial magnetic stimulation, using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. Another research area involves electroconvulsive therapy, which uses electrical currents to cause changes in brain chemistry in an effort to reverse symptoms of some mental illnesses.

Nicole Young, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Neuroscience 

Dr. Young’s research areas include motor deficits and recovery of motor function and affective neuroscience (fear and anxiety). She is currently developing a method for flow fractionator for cell counting in homogenized neural tissue using flow cytometry.

Dina Aziz, MSHS, CCRP
Director of Research 

Ms. Aziz has more than 10 years of clinical research experience including coordination and development of national tissue repositories, clinical trials management, research compliance and auditing and regulatory affairs. She has extensive expertise with the execution and management of investigator-sponsored investigational new drug applications and investigational device exemptions, participating in several industry and institutional review board audits and ensuring compliance of all research activities. 

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