Counterpoint: Invasive Brain Stimulation and Recording Technologies Have Unique Biological Advantages in the Treatment of Severe Structural Brain Injuries

This presentation will present the counterpoin rationale for the use of invasive neurostimulation and recording technologies in the human brain following severe structural brain injuries. The discussion will highlight two areas for intervention and selective advantages of the invasive technologies: 1) deep brain electrical stimulation for the treatment of arousal regulation in patients with multi-focal structural brain injuries, and 2) indwelling high-performance brain-computer interfaces for patients with cognitive motor dissociation.

Presenter Bio:

Nicholas Schiff, MD, is a physician-scientist with an internationally recognized expertise in neurological disorders of consciousness. He is The Jerold B. Katz Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Schiff’s research efforts bridge basic neuroscience and clinical investigative studies of the pathophysiology of impaired consciousness using state-of-the art neuroimaging and neurophysiological measurements. This research program has provided several landmark contributions to the understanding of cerebral activity in severely brain injured-patients. Most notably, Dr. Schiff and colleagues have taken insights into the neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal regulation and of deep brain electrical stimulation techniques to demonstrate evidence that long-lasting, severe cognitive disability may be influenced by electrical stimulation of the central thalamus. Based on extensive and long-range longitudinal human subject studies of recovery of consciousness, Dr. Schiff has formulated a testable hypothesis for the contribution of the anterior forebrain mesocircuit to recovery of consciousness that organizes the findings from work in central thalamic deep brain stimulation into a wider context. This work is an important foundation for developing further understanding of both the mechanisms of recovery of consciousness and basic mechanisms underlying consciousness in the human brain. Dr. Schiff is an elected member of the American Neurological Association and the recipient of several awards, including the 2007 Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Schiff’s research is currently supported by the NIH BRAIN Initiative, NIH-NINDS, The Jerold B. Katz Foundation and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. Past support has included NIH-NICHD, NEI-NIDDR, NIH-NIMH, Swartz Foundation, Lounsbery Foundation, Charles A. Dana Foundation, and IntElect Medical, Inc.