About Joseph Giacino, PhD

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.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
300 First Avenue
Charlestown, MA 02129-3109
Fax: 617-952-5934

Medical Education

  • PhD, Hofstra University

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


For the last two decades, my clinical and research activities have centered on assessment and treatment interventions designed for persons with severe acquired brain injury (ABI). My work in assessment has focused on developing neurobehavioral and functional neuroimaging methodologies to characterize the pathophysiologic, neurocognitive, neurobehavioral and functional sequelae of severe ABI. Over the last 10 years, I have been involved in development projects and multicenter clinical trials concerning novel neuromodulatory interventions aimed at promoting functional improvement during the subacute and chronic phases of recovery from brain injury. I served as Project Director on a recently-completed 11-site randomized controlled trial testing the effectiveness of a medication intended to improve functional outcome in patients recovering from severe traumatic brain injury and Co-PI on a three-center pilot trial of thalamic deep brain stimulation for treatment of post-traumatic minimally conscious state. I am currently chairing a joint initiative between the American Academy of Neurology, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems to update existing assessment and treatment guidelines for management of patients with disorders of consciousness.


  • GiacinoJT, Ashwal S, Childs N,et al. The minimally conscious state: Definition and diagnostic criteria Neurology 2002;58:349-53.

    GiacinoJT, Kalmar K, Whyte J. The JFK coma recovery scale-revised: Measurement characteristics and diagnostic utility. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:2020-9.

    SchiffND, Rodriguez-Moreno D, Kamal A, Kim KHS, Giacino J, Plum F, Hirsch J. Functional MRI reveals largescale network activation in minimally conscious patients. Neurology 2005;64:514-23.

    VossHU, Ulug AM, Dyke JP, Watts R, Kobylarz EJ, McCandliss B, Heier LA, Beattie BJ,Hamacher KA, Vallabhajosula S, Goldsmith SJ, Ballon D, Giacino JT, Schiff ND. Axonalre-growth in late recovery from the minimally conscious state. J Clin Invest2006;116:205-11.

    Schiff ND, GiacinoJT (co-lead author),Kalmar K, et al.Behavioral improvements with thalamic stimulation after severe traumatic braininjury. 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.