Joseph Giacino, Ph.D.

Program Director/Principal Investigator, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Joseph T. Giacino is the Director of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Consulting Neuropsychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Giacino's clinical and research activities are centered on the development and application of novel assessment and treatment methods for individuals with severe acquired brain injury (ABI) and disorders of consciousness (DOC). He served as co-chair of the Aspen Workgroup, responsible for developing the diagnostic criteria for the minimally conscious state (MCS) and was co-lead author of the Mohonk Report, a Congressionally-sponsored initiative to establish recommendations for lifelong care of patients with DOC. He currently chairs the VS/MCS Guideline Development Panel of the American Academy of Neurology which is responsible for revising existing guidelines for management of patients with DOC. 

He is principle investigator on a project funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to develop novel fMRI paradigms to assess the integrity of language and visual processing networks in patients with DOC and serves as Project Director of a 12-site NIDRR-funded clinical trial of amantadine hydrochloride (AH) to determine whether AH facilitates functional recovery in patients with prolonged DOC. He also served as Co-PI of an FDA-approved pilot study of deep brain stimulation aimed at promoting recovery of speech and motor functions in patients with chronic post-traumatic MCS.


Research interests Traumatic Brain Injury, Neuropsychology, Disorders of Consciousness, Rehabilitation

Recent Publications:

Schiff ND, GiacinoJT (co-lead author), Kalmar K, et al. Behavioral improvements with thalamic stimulation after severe traumatic brain injury. Nature 2007;448:600-4.

Rodriguez-MorenoD, Schiff ND, Giacino JT, et al. A network approach to assess cognition in disorders of consciousness.Neurology 2010;75:1871-78.

Giacino JT, Whyte J, Bagiella E, Kalmar K, et al. Placebo Controlled Trial of Amantadine for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. N Engl J Med 2012;366:819-26.

Giacino JT, Fins J, Machado A, Schiff N. Central thalamic deep brain stimulation to promote recovery from chronic post-traumatic minimally conscious state: challenges and opportunities. Neuromodulation, Jul;15(4):339-49. 

Malec J, Hammond F, Giacino JT, Whyte J, Wright J. A structured interview to improve the reliability and psychometric integrity of the Disability Rating Scale. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2012;93(9):1603-8. 

McPherson A, Rojas L, Bauerschmidt A, Ezeani CC, Yang L, Motelow JE, Farooque P, Detyniecki K,  Giacino JT, Blumenfeld H. Testing for minimal consciousness in complex partial and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Epilepsia, Oct;53(10):e180-3.

Bauerschmidt A, Koshkelashvili N, Ezeani CC, Yoo JY, Zhang Y, Manganas LN, Kailash K, Palenzuela D, Schmidt CC, Lief R, Kiely B, Choezom T, McClurkin M, Shorten A, Detyniecki K, Hirsch LJ, Giacino JT. Prospective assessment of ictal behavior using the revised Responsiveness in Epilepsy Scale (RES-II). Epilepsy & Behavior 2013;26(1):25-8.

Whyte JW, Nakase-Richardson R, Hammond FM, McNamee S, Giacino JT, Kalmar K, Greenwald B, Yablon SA, Horn LJ. Functional outcomes in traumatic disorders of consciousness: 5-year outcomes from the NIDRR Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, in press.

Nakase-Richardson R, Tran J, M.D., Cifu D, Barnett SD, Horn LH, Greenwald BD, Brunner R,  Whyte J, Hammond FM, Yablon SA, Giacino JT. Do rehospitalization rates differ among injury severity levels in the NIDRR TBI Model Systems Program? Arch Phys Med Rehabil, in press.

Whyte J, Nordenbo A, Kalmar K, Merges B, Bagiella E, Chang H, Yablon S, Cho S, Hammond F, Khademi A, Giacino JT. Medical Complications During Inpatient Rehabilitation Among Patients with Traumatic Disorders of Consciousness. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, in press.