The Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects more than 1.5 million Americans each year. Yet no two injuries are alike nor do they create the same challenges for patients and their families. Furthermore, studies show that where an individual goes for treatment can make all the difference in his or her recovery.

At Kessler's Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, patients benefit from a highly specialized program that is tailored to the unique physical and/or functional limitations, cognitive impairments, and emotional or behavioral difficulties of the individual. In fact, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is one of only 14 centers in the nation to be designated by the National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation and Research as a Model System for the treatment and research of traumatic brain injuries.

Our Approach

Kessler delivers an integrated and intensive brain injury rehabilitation program, including medical, nursing and therapy care, to best address the complex needs of each patient. As a specialized hospital, we provide the earliest possible start to brain injury rehabilitation to help optimize the recovery of individuals at every level of injury – from those in a minimally conscious state to those requiring outpatient cognitive rehabilitation.

Our goal-directed approach helps brain injury patients to:

  • maximize arousal and responsiveness
  • develop new cognitive and behavioral strategies to compensate for any deficits
  • improve physical function and mobility to enhance the skills needed to perform daily activities
  • overcome the psychological and social problems that often interfere with the adjustment to an independent life at home, work and/or in the community

As part of our comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation program, Kessler offers a highly specialized Severe Disorders of Consciousness (SDOC) Program. This pioneering program addresses the unique needs of individuals who are in a coma, vegetative or minimally-conscious state. It effectively combines medical care, pharmacological management and therapy interventions to maximize individual potential.

Our comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation program also focuses on the unique needs of individuals who have a dual-diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and require advanced treatment for their complex physical, functional and cognitive challenges.

Our Patients

Patient Stories


"If you have the determination, you can accomplish just about anything."


"They gave me back my life ...
my life. And that’s quite a gift."

Meet More Kessler Patients

Nearly two-thirds of the patients treated at Kessler's Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation have experienced a traumatic brain injury, typically the result of a motor vehicle accident, fall, assault or sports-related injury. For others, the injury may have been caused by a tumor, infection, surgery or a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Brain injuries, whether traumatic or acquired, can range from mild to severe. They can interfere with the way a person thinks, behaves and functions, leaving the individual unable to perform basic tasks and affecting memory, concentration, communication, speech, swallowing and vision, as well as mobility. For some, recovery can take weeks or months. For others, it is a lifelong process. Our brain injury rehabilitation professionals understand this and work tirelessly to help patients maximize their skills and independence.

Our Rehabilitation Team

Kessler's interdisciplinary team draws on the expertise and experience of brain injury rehabilitation specialists, including:

  • Physicians who manage our patients' complex medical needs around the clock
  • Rehabilitation nurses who provide compassionate, evidence-based care to each patient
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists who involve patients in an intensive and comprehensive treatment program for a minimum of three hours each day
  • Psychologists and neuropsychologists who address cognitive, emotional or behavioral issues
  • Case managers who carefully coordinate the individual's stay and discharge plans

Treatment, Technology & Research

Long recognized as a pioneer in brain injury rehabilitation, Kessler continues to explore the most effective evidence-based treatment, pharmacologic interventions and behavioral management strategies to support the recovery of each patient. Among the many advances currently available to appropriate individuals are:

  • Videofluoroscopy and Vital Stim® to diagnose and treat swallowing disorders
  • Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training (BWST) and Bioness® wireless electrical stimulation devices to improve gait performance and mobility
  • Robotic therapies, splinting devices such as the SaeboFlex®, constraint induced therapy and electrical stimulation to improve arm and hand function
  • Innovative cognitive therapies, including computer-based activities, to support individual progress
  • Brain-mapping technologies and pharmacologic interventions for appropriate patients

Specialized Services

Individuals with brain injury have a wide range of physical and functional challenges, as well as rehabilitation goals. To best meet those brain injury rehabilitation needs, Kessler provides a full range of services to treat sleep/wake cycles, responsiveness and arousal, speech and swallowing disorders, spasticity, balance and vestibular conditions, vision problems and pain management. In addition, through our renowned Driver Rehabilitation Program, appropriate individuals may be able to acquire the skills necessary to drive a car or van.

We also offer support groups and extensive educational programming that enable patients and their families to share information, discuss common concerns and draw on the experiences of others.

Continuum of Care

To help individuals with brain injury successfully transition to life at home, work/school or in the community, Kessler offers an unparalleled continuum of inpatient through outpatient care. In addition to physical, occupational and speech therapies, Kessler offers a nationally renowned Cognitive Rehabilitation Program (CRP). This unique outpatient brain injury rehabilitation service helps patients to continue to build their cognitive, emotional and behavioral skills, reinforce learned strategies, and facilitate the achievement of educational and vocational goals.

Our Outcomes

Studies show that patients treated at an acute rehabilitation hospital like Kessler achieve better outcomes than those in other care settings. On average, Kessler brain injury rehabilitation patients have greater improvement during their stay and a higher level of functional independence upon discharge, based on with national benchmarks that measure criteria such as locomotion, cognitive ability and activities of daily living.

For More Information

For more information about Kessler's Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, to arrange a tour or to discuss admission, contact us or call call Kessler's West Orange, Saddle Brook or Chester Campus.