People who experience serious brain injuries may have movement problems, emotional problems, thinking and memory problems, language problems, pain or numbness, or other limitations.

Many people with brain injuries have challenges returning to independent living, work or school. Mayo Clinic's brain rehabilitation team works to meet the needs of people with brain injuries and help them become as independent as possible.

The most common way brain function is altered by injury or disease is after a stroke, which may be due to lack of blood flow to the brain or bleeding in the brain.

Many people treated in Mayo's Brain Rehabilitation Clinic have had strokes. Other common causes of brain dysfunction include brain tumors and traumatic brain injuries, which are caused by external forces applied to your head or body, such as a fall or car accident.

  • Experience and expertise. Mayo Clinic is a leading treatment and research center for people who need brain rehabilitation after injury or disease has altered their brain function.

    The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has accredited the inpatient and outpatient brain rehabilitation services at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for its expertise in providing stroke, traumatic brain injury and pediatric rehabilitation care.

  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic's Division of Brain Rehabilitation, within the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, helps hundreds of people recover from traumatic and nontraumatic brain injuries each year. Doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation coordinate a team of doctors and staff trained in many areas to evaluate and address your needs.
  • Treatment and follow-up care. Mayo Clinic specialists trained in brain rehabilitation provide your care from the day you're diagnosed with a brain disorder through your return home to your family and community.

    Some impairments after your brain injury last a lifetime. Mayo's Brain Rehabilitation Clinic team will work with you to meet your long-term needs, offering you and your family a seamless experience between levels of care as your condition improves and your needs change over time.

  • Individualized care. Mayo Clinic doctors and other specialists develop an individualized treatment plan for each person with a brain disorder. You and your family are considered an integral part of the treatment team, and you're informed and involved in making decisions.

    Mayo Clinic's Pediatric Rehabilitation Program cares for children with brain injuries at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Similar to the adult practices, Mayo Clinic doctors and staff evaluate and develop comprehensive treatment plans for children with medical, cognitive and behavioral challenges after brain injury.

  • Research. Mayo Clinic staff members take an evidence-based approach to brain rehabilitation. Collaborative research between Mayo Clinic and other academic centers across the nation involves a variety of studies, including epidemiology, telemedicine and community-based clinical trials to improve outcomes after brain injury.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other staff offer a full range of brain rehabilitation treatment options for you, from intensive hospital care through outpatient and community-based services.

Brain rehabilitation during acute hospital care

Mayo Clinic doctors and other staff trained in brain rehabilitation become involved in providing and coordinating your care as soon as you arrive at the hospital. They work closely with the hospital treatment team, initiating your rehabilitation assessment and treatment while closely monitoring your progress and planning for the next step. Brain rehabilitation specialists play a central role in teaching you and your family about your condition.

Brain rehabilitation unit

If you need further rehabilitation treatment after your condition has stabilized and your rehabilitation team determines staying in the hospital is the best place to receive it, you'll be admitted to the state-of-the-art inpatient brain rehabilitation unit at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, in Rochester, Minnesota.

Rooms, therapy and social areas in the unit are designed to provide you and your family with a comfortable atmosphere. Each room has plenty of space to accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment.

The unit has a patio for easy access to the outdoors, a lounge area and laundry facilities. A specially designed apartment is available where you can practice and improve daily living skills.

In inpatient rehabilitation, your treatment team will help you to transition to living at home independently, living at home with assistance or to another type of living facility. Your team will work with you to help improve physical, mental and behavioral functioning.

Your therapy and treatment will depend on your individual needs. Brain rehabilitation specialists will work with you and your family to discuss treatment goals and determine ways to meet those goals.

Outpatient rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation focuses on helping you improve your physical, cognitive and behavioral functioning so that you can live and work as independently as possible after your condition has stabilized.

Brain Rehabilitation Clinic

You'll be evaluated by staff in the Brain Rehabilitation Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to determine which combination of services most appropriately meets your needs. If you need a new patient evaluation, ask your doctor to make a referral to Mayo's Brain Rehabilitation Clinic. An evaluation team reviews your referral prior to your evaluation to ensure that the appropriate doctors and staff are involved.

Your evaluation may include referrals to any member of the brain rehabilitation team. Your treatment team may include doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and other specialists.

Treatment team members work with you and your family to establish your treatment start date, establish your treatment goals and determine ways for you to meet those goals. The team meets regularly to monitor your treatment and progress.

Mayo Clinic staff members also can help you find local housing, transportation and financial assistance for medical expenses. The rehabilitation nurse, neuropsychologist, clinical social worker, vocational coordinator and other specialists are available to provide family education and support. Your family and friends are encouraged to participate in many program activities.

The Brain Rehabilitation Clinic offers several outpatient programs, including:

  • Concussion management. Mayo's Brain Rehabilitation Clinic leads coordinated, comprehensive customized team-based clinical evaluations of concussion, integrating the care of specialty teams in the departments of neurology, psychiatry and psychology, sports medicine, neuroradiology, and the vestibular/balance laboratory.

    This model of care, focused on patient need and driven by evidence-based assessment and outcome measurement, provides the ideal setting for systematic, efficient multidisciplinary evaluations of concussive traumatic brain injury.

  • Cognitive rehabilitation. In individual therapy sessions, cognitive rehabilitation therapists work with you to improve your thinking (cognitive) skills and maximize your success in personal and occupational roles.
  • Vocational case coordination. Mayo Clinic staff help you develop a plan to resume work in your previous job field, help you develop new career goals or find ways to best resume other productive activities.
  • Neuromuscular brain rehabilitation program. Physical and occupational therapists trained in brain rehabilitation use state-of-the-art approaches to treat mobility and motor control limitations and to maximize re-integration into independent living.
  • Speech and language rehabilitation. In individual therapy sessions, speech and language therapists work with you to reduce any language-based or other limitations to effective communication you may experience.
  • Brain Injury Coping Skills Group (BICS). BICS is a small group treatment program that consists of 12 sessions, each two hours in length, co-facilitated by a neuropsychologist and clinical social worker. The group is designed to help both survivors with brain injuries as well as family members or caregivers.

    In BICS, a large amount of education and training about brain injury will be provided, and you will learn important skills for coping with the effects of your injury.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other areas care for people with brain injuries who require brain rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other staff care for people with brain injuries who require brain rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

You'll need a physician's referral to be considered for admission into the inpatient brain rehabilitation program or for an appointment in the outpatient program.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Specialists in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program care for children with brain injuries who require rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Coordinated staff evaluate and address learning concerns and manage anxiety, mood or behavioral symptoms. They also provide education and support to families and coordinate your child's care with schools or other local providers.

Individualized treatment plans are developed with the assistance of pediatric neuropsychologists and staff trained in cognitive rehabilitation, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral health.

Children needing inpatient treatment receive care at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital.

Your child will need a physician's referral to be considered for admission into the inpatient program or for an appointment in the outpatient program.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Brain rehabilitation researchers at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota are actively involved in clinical investigations to better understand:

  • How to measure muscle tone (spasticity) using new technology involving ultrasound
  • How information gained from monitoring physical activity can help improve mobility after stroke
  • How brain injury affects survival and life span
  • How cognitive rehabilitation can be provided in your home by telemedicine
  • How smartphone technology can help individuals with cognitive impairment independently use public transportation
  • How advanced technology can be used to improve balance and spatial awareness after stroke

Researchers also study stroke rehabilitation, long-term outcomes of traumatic brain injuries and many other areas of brain rehabilitation.

Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Center

The Mayo Clinic Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Research Program is one of 16 medical research programs in the United States involved in a research consortium funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Mayo's TBI Model System Center research program studies new ways to improve outcomes for people with traumatic brain injuries. The program also contributes data to a large database that allows for collaborative research studies analyzing outcomes over the long term after TBI.


Researchers are assessing the course of long-term recovery and outcomes after a traumatic brain injury to develop and identify innovative services that most appropriately meet people's needs and allow them to re-integrate into their communities.

In collaboration with other model systems, Mayo Clinic has studied headaches and issues related to sexuality after TBI, sharing these research findings with brain injury rehabilitation programs across the country.

A first-of-its-kind study is being conducted to remotely connect individuals hospitalized for traumatic brain injury, their families and local health care providers. This specialized brain rehabilitation project uses both traditional and customized information and communication technology.

The goal is to test how much a complex brain rehabilitation intervention delivered remotely improves participation outcomes and satisfaction compared with a matched group receiving the usual care in their communities.

Researchers are studying the use of telerehabilitation, a type of rehabilitation using phone and computer technology, for people who don't have access to rehabilitation treatment in their communities. Mayo Clinic researchers are studying the benefits of technology in providing cognitive rehabilitation in people with traumatic and nontraumatic brain injuries.

See a list of publications on brain injury and rehabilitation by Mayo authors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Dec. 04, 2014