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 Brain Cancer Rehabilitation Program

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's Brain Cancer Rehabilitation Program helps you and your family confront the physical, cognitive and emotional challenges related to the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. Our brain cancer rehabilitation team creates a personalized care plan for you that includes education, treatment and support.

Our Patients

Brain cancer occurs when cancer cells (malignant) develop in brain tissue. Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue (tumor) that interferes with brain functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory and other normal body functions.

We provide services for people with brain cancer who:

  • Have been recently diagnosed
  • Are in need of physical, occupational, speech and cognitive treatments
  • Are recovering from brain cancer surgery
  • Are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy

Why Choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center?

Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center has helped thousands of people with brain cancer achieve a high level of independence and quality of life. Our rehabilitative programs can help you regain lost skills or learn new skills. There are many reasons to choose our programs and services:

  • A team of healthcare professionals with different areas of expertise work together with brain cancer physicians and surgeons to create a comprehensive and personalized care plan for you.
  • Our rehabilitation therapies focus on building strength so you can better tolerate your cancer treatments.
  • You receive quality of life education, end-of-life counseling and pastoral care.
  • We arrange for in-home equipment and a personalized discharge care plan if you have been given a short-term prognosis and want to remain at home.
  • We are proud that our Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs at Dodd Hall and Outpatient Medical Rehabilitation Programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARF recognized our programs as meeting the highest standards in quality, safety and outcome measures, which provide risk-reduction and accountability in our patient care.
  • For 19 consecutive years, The Ohio State University Medical Center's rehabilitation program has been ranked among the best in the country by U.S.News & World Report.
  • Since The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is an academic medical center, you benefit from innovative research, a depth of medical expertise and the newest technologies and treatment techniques available.

Our Services

Without treatment, brain cancers are usually aggressive and result in death within a short time span. Our treatment can help extend your survival and improve your quality of life.

This program offers rehabilitation services to help in each phase of your rehabilitation – from services offered in the hospital (known as inpatient services) to those offered after returning home (known as outpatient services). These services offer a continuum of care to help achieve your highest level of recovery.

Your rehabilitation program may include:

  • Adaptive devices to make home and work activities easier
  • Aquatic therapy (rehabilitation exercises performed in a warm water therapeutic pool)
  • Arts therapy (uses the creative process to help patients improve physical skills, thinking skills and emotional well-being)
  • Biofeedback therapy (treatment technique to improve health using signals from the body)
  • Breathing exercises
  • Classes and individual therapy sessions for adjustment issues following your diagnosis
  • Cognitive therapy (helps with thinking and understanding skills)
  • Diet and nutrition education
  • Electrical stimulation for arm and leg weakness
  • Home evaluation for safety and accessibility
  • Locomotor training (LT) (a method of physical therapy where  the patient is suspended in a harness over a treadmill, while specially-trained therapists move their legs to simulate walking)
  • Meditation (techniques to relax the body and mind)
  • Neurological diagnostic tests (such as CT scan, MRI and EMG)
  • Neuromodulation (the use of neurological pacemakers and other devices to deliver electrical signals, medications and other therapeutic agents precisely into the brain, spinal cord and nervous system)
  • Neuromuscular therapy (helps with mobility and motor control issues)
  • Neuropsychological evaluations (measure concentration, learning and other skills)
  • Occupational therapy (helps patients participate in activities of daily living)
  • Patient and family counseling and support
  • Patient education focused on lifestyle adjustments
  • Physical therapy (helps patients improve strength, mobility and fitness)
  • Real world simulation (such as community re-entry and independent living apartment)
  • Recreational therapy (helps patients engage in recreational and leisure activities to enhance community participation and satisfaction)
  • Respiratory therapy (treatment of breathing disorders using respirators or aerosol medications)
  • Speech therapy (treatment of speech and communication disorders)
  • Training for return to home, work and community
  • Wheelchair seating and other mobility options

Your Treatment Team

Your personalized treatment plan is implemented by a team of specialists who may include:

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians/physiatrists (specialize in helping people regain body functions lost due to medical conditions or injuries)
  • Neuropsychologists (specialize in the effects that injuries or diseases of the brain and spinal cord have on emotions, behavior and learning)
  • Neuro-oncologists (specialize in the treatment of cancers and tumors affecting the brain)
  • Neurosurgeons (specialize in surgery on the brain and other parts of the nervous system)
  • Neurologists (specialize in disorders of the nervous system)
  • Certified rehabilitation nurses (specialize in the care of the chronically ill and injured)
  • Physical therapists (specialize in helping patients achieve maximum strength, balance and mobility)
  • Occupational therapists (specialize in improving patients' ability to complete activities of daily living)
  • Speech-language pathologists (specialize in helping patients improve communication, cognition and swallowing)
  • Recreational therapists (specialize in providing education and community-based interventions to improve patients' physical, mental, social and emotional well being)
  • Respiratory therapists (specialize in assessing and treating breathing disorders)
  • Dietitians (specialize in nutrition and dietetics)
  • Social workers (specialize in the social, emotional and financial needs of families and patients)
  • Case managers (specialize in the coordination of inpatient and post-hospital care and services for patients and families)
  • Neuroradiologists (specialize in imaging technologies to diagnose disorders of the nerves, brain or spinal cord)
  • Radiation oncologists (specialize in the administration of radiation therapy)
  • Neuropathologists (specialize in the diagnosis of neurological disorders and diseases)

Care Locations

Additional Specialized Services

Your rehabilitation team may recommend additional rehab services that may include:


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