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 including Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia and obsessive compulsive disorder. 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.

What is neuromodulation?

Neuromodulation treatments involve using technology that acts directly upon nerves. It is the alteration of nerve activity by delivering electrical stimulation directly to a target area. It is one of the fastest-growing medical specialties. The Center for Neuromodulation at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center offers multiple neuromodulation treatments including deep brain stimulation and focused ultrasound ablation.

Why choose the Ohio State Center for Neuromodulation?

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

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

Most Experienced Neuromodulation Team in the United States: The physicians of the Center for Neuromodulation at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center perform thousands of neuromodulation surgical procedures each year for patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, traumatic brain injury and obsessive compulsive disorder.  

Research: We are exploring how deep brain stimulation, focused ultrasound ablation and spinal cord stimulation can treat other chronic disabilities and diseases.

Learn more about brain and spine neurological conditions at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Watch our DBS information session online

Patient Stories

No more tremors: Judy's story

Judy had been a painter for more than 60 years, but her ability to create artwork was tested when she was diagnosed with essential tremor. She underwent DBS at the Ohio State Center for Neuromodulation and today, she's back to painting and making new art.

Lon's experience with DBS

When Lon was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, his days centered around controlling the symptoms. After being evaluated at the Ohio State Center for Neuromodulation, he underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS). Now he’s actively enjoying his life again.

John's story with DBS

John was only 50 years old when he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. When medications stopped working, John visited the Ohio State Center for Neuromodulation where he underwent DBS. Since having the procedure done, John is back to the things he loved: golfing and traveling with his wife.

Deep Brain Stimulation

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a commonly performed surgical procedure for patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor or dystonia. DBS treats a variety of disabling neurological symptoms including tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking problems.

DBS electrodes are implanted into the brain and connected to a small pacemaker-like programmable device that has been implanted into the chest or abdominal wall (no exposed hardware). 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:

Focused Ultrasound Ablation

What is Focused Ultrasound Ablation?

Focused ultrasound ablation (FUSA) is an innovative, noninvasive procedure that can treat patients who have essential tremor and Parkinson’s tremors – in a single session.

FUSA provides real-time monitoring and precise targeting, while painlessly treating tissue deep in the brain. There are no incisions, anesthesia or radiation with this magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound. A machine gives off high-frequency sound waves that deliver a strong beam to a specific part of the brain containing nerve cells causing the tremors. Some cells die when this high-intensity ultrasound beam is focused directly onto them, eliminating the tremors.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was one of the first in the country – and the only one in the Midwest – to study focused ultrasound ablation's safety and effectiveness as part of a multi-center FDA trial.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) 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. A medical device similar to a pacemaker, which is placed beside the spinal cord or peripheral nerve, is used 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.

Research

Participate in Research

Participate in Research

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

Our Team

Our Research Team

The neuromodulation team comprises more than 40 specialists who 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.

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.

Cady Block, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Dr. Block is a neuropsychologist with expertise in neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric effects of neurological disease and injury. The neuropsychology team provides a critical perspective in the process of pre/post-surgical evaluation for neuromodulation intervention, as well as assessing the trajectory of neurocognitive changes associated with neurodegenerative, neurogenetic, neurovascular, and seizure disorders. Dr. Block is active in research, with special interest in postoperative cognitive decline and secondary effects on neuropsychological functioning including medication and medical burden, fatigue and disordered sleep, and motivational/expectancy effects. She is active professionally within clinical neuropsychology, holding leadership positions in the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, International Neuropsychological Society, and American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology.

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.

Laura Boxley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Dr. Boxley is a neuropsychologist, she assesses the cognitive and psychiatric symptoms associated with different medical illnesses such as neurodegenerative disease, cancer and acquired brain injury. She is passionate about neuropsychology because it can help improve diagnostic accuracy and provide solutions for treatment and management of illness. She also enjoys the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary research with my colleagues in medicine and education.

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.

Erica Dawson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry 

Dr. Dawson chose to become a clinical neuropsychologist because of my interest in brain-behavior relationships. Neuropsychological evaluations help identify whether changes in thinking have occurred as a result of a medical illness or injury. What she enjoys most about being a neuropsychologist is the opportunity to help patients learn to work around their limitations with effective strategies and other forms of assistance.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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