The Berenson-Allen (BA) Center was established in 2007 with the generous support of the Berenson Charitable foundation, consolidating a number of preexisting laboratories at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to further investigations and clinical applications with Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS). The BA Center is a world leader in the research and development, clinical application, and teaching of NIBS. Research at the BA Center has been fundamental in establishing NIBS as a valuable tool in clinical and basic neuroscience, improving the technology and its integration with several brain-imaging methodologies. Clinical advances in our center have helped to create the field of therapeutic noninvasive brain stimulation. The center is committed to providing education and training on the use of NIBS for both clinical practice and research. A clinical program offers NIBS for diagnostic applications and for treatment of a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, epilepsy, autism. It also offers neurorehabilitation of motor function, cognition, and language after stroke or traumatic brain injury.
The Clinical NIBS Program at the BA-Center features a storied history spanning more than two decades. It began as a provider of off-label treatment for patients with medication-refractory depression who had participated in NIMH-supported research studies and derived clinical benefit. The program successfully developed training and accreditation guidelines that have now been adopted across the institution and beyond. Our efforts helped pave the way for FDA approval for several TMS devices to treat patients with severe depression. In the last year, we completed 2389 treatment sessions, or about 10 treatment sessions per working day. Treatment of patients with medication-resistant depression is offered as an on-label application using one of the four FDA-cleared devices – all available at the BA Center. Over the past three years we have delivered over 6000 treatments for this indication. Additionally, we provide off-label NIBS for patients with other indications approved by BIDMC’s Medical Executive Committee, including negative symptoms of schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations, neuropathic pain, cognitive deficits in neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, motor deficit and aphasia after stroke, tinnitus, and focal epilepsy. Further information regarding the BA Center can be found here.