Brain Injury Research

Besides having a widely recognized traumatic brain injury center, being a Level I Adult Trauma Center, a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and a teaching hospital, HCMC is internationally known for its research in Traumatic Brain Injury. The physicians of the Division of Neurosurgery and Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation are dedicated to advancing the treatment of mild, moderate and severe traumatic brain injury.

Past research under the leadership of Dr. Gaylan L. Rockswold, MD, PhD, Chief of Neurosurgery 1979-2011/Medical Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Center 2006-2015, has focused on how the injured brain utilizes oxygen and the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in people with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The 14 research studies, including 4 NIH funded studies, have resulted in numerous publications and have set the tone for today’s research. Dr. G.L. Rockswold is now retired from clinical care but is still active in TBI research.

Current research projects at HCMC are investigating how mild traumatic brain injury affects vision, exploring the creation of a new classification for brain injury, and looking at the long term outcomes of patients who received hyperbaric oxygen in our earlier research studies.

Research is currently being conducted by:

Current Research Projects

  1. Retrospective Study of Oculomotor Dysfunction
  2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Oculomotor Dysfunction in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  3. Traumatic Brain Injury Classification and Outcome Assessment
  4. Neuroimaging and Neurovision Rehabilitation of Oculomotor Dysfunction in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  5. Long-term Outcomes after Traumatic Brain Injury
  6. Hyperbaric Oxygen Brain Injury Treatment trial (pending)

In 2015, the Minnesota State Legislature established the Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program (136A.901). Dr. Sarah B. Rockswold and Dr. Samadani serve on the statewide Advisory Council.

HCMC is leading the largest national brain injury study in the nation under the direction of neurosurgeon Uzma Samadani MD. The study involves detection of brain injury severity analyzing blood-based biomarkers, eye tracking and imaging. Her brain injury research lab is located in HCMC.

For more information about TBI research or clinical care please contact the Traumatic Brain Injury Center at 612-873-3284.