Deep brain stimulation and cognition: Moving from animal to patient

Nicholas D. Schiff, Joseph J. Fins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Brain electrical stimulation has been proposed as a strategy to improve chronically impaired cognitive function. This brief review places a small number of recent studies into a broader historical context and identifies important challenges for further development of this area of research. RECENT FINDINGS: Behavioral improvements following severe brain injury with central thalamic deep brain stimulation were observed in experimental studies conducted in rodents and a report on a single human. These findings suggest that this technique warrants further study as a method to modulate cognitive function in the setting of acquired brain injury. SUMMARY: This area of research offers the promise of new avenues to engage patients with nonprogressive brain injuries who, at present, have rather limited therapeutic options. These efforts, however, will require careful attention to issues of research and clinical ethics and study design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-642
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Arousal regulation
  • Central thalamus
  • Consciousness
  • Consent in decisional incapacity
  • Intralaminar thalamic nuclei
  • Minimally conscious state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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