CNS Medical Director and Vice President, Dr. Randall Benson, is a globally regarded behavioral neurologist and imaging neuroscientist who is recognized for developing new, more effective treatments for incapacitating brain disorders (TBI, MS, and stroke) through the use of advanced, functional MRI methods, which provide unprecedented understanding of brain function and disease.
First dual Research Fellow in Behavioral Neurology and MRI at Harvard Medical School
Neurology residency at Boston University and the Veterans Administration
Principal investigator on US National Institutes of health and Department of Defense projects
Testified before the US Congress on a National Football League sponsored study on concussions
1987-88 Intern, Internal Medicine, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Chester, PA
1988-91 Resident, Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
1991-93 Behavioral Neurology and Functional Neuroimaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Dr. Benson’s strong desire to go beyond the conventional (and limited) methods of behavioral neurology research led him to become the first dual Research Fellow in Behavioral Neurology and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) at Harvard Medical School and the esteemed NMR Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. During his fellowship, Dr. Benson pioneered a new technique, fMRI, for mapping language areas in the brains of neurosurgical patients. His leadership eventually led to FDA approval for “fMRI pre-surgical mapping” in 2007 and now is a clinical procedure performed throughout the U.S. and globally.
Dr. Benson’s research and clinical practice through Novi, Michigan-based Center for Integrated Neurology are strongly focused on disorders of the brain and cognition. Dr. Benson’s commitment to finding novel ways to enhance recovery of function after stroke led to multiple foundation and industry-sponsored investigations into the use of targeted electrical/magnetic stimulation of the brain in motor and language impairment following stroke.
In a phase III clinical trial investigating the effect of electrical stimulation of the motor area on weakness following stroke, no significant effect was observed over the 21 U.S. sites collectively. Wayne State University, with Dr. Benson as the site PI, was the second leading enroller of research subjects in the study, which obtained highly significant results. Similarly, promising preliminary results were obtained in two of four chronic language-impaired stroke patients treated with the non-invasive repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in a 6-week trial. Additional funding is required to continue these promising studies.
Since 2004, Dr. Benson has worked closely with a team to develop and validate advanced imaging methods to detect traumatic injuries in mild cases of closed head injury. Their work has led to funding from the National Institute of Health, Department of Defense, and The National Football League, among others. Dr. Benson testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee for 20 minutes on head injury in football and lectured at a Department of Defense-sponsored workshop regarding the diagnosis of mild TBI (mTBI) in soldiers, using advanced imaging methods (June 2-3, 2010, Chicago). Dr. Benson lectures frequently to attorneys, other physicians, and researchers on TBI and advanced imaging methods.
Dr. Benson has held a number of titles including:
October 3, 2011–issue of Sports Illustrated-quoted on treatment received by concussed hockey
superstar, Sidney Crosby– http://sportsillustrated.cnn.
November 1, 2010–issue of Sports Illustrated-quoted on the effects on the brain of subconcussive impacts in football– http://sportsillustrated.cnn.
July 27, 2006–Interviewed for ‘Working for your Health’ segment for Detroit’s Fox TV affiliate (WJBK)
regarding use of electrical cortical stimulation as a treatment intervention for stroke induced upper extremity weakness
March 14, 2005–issue of Time Magazine -quoted on TMS and aphasia — http://www.time.com/time/
November 29, 2004–Interviewed and quoted in Associated Press regarding the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for aphasia
Dr. Benson’s research on brain disorders is usually high impact and cutting edge. His earliest fMRI work in patients was featured on a segment of NBC’s Today Show in 1994. His use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the brain in stroke patients was the topic of an AP Press article and a Time Magazine article. Most recently, his TBI imaging research led to his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and an interview with Sports Illustrated.