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Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center

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Our Team

Boston Medical Center
72 E. Concord St., C-3
Boston, MA 02118

Joseph D. Burns, MD

Attending Neurointensivist
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Program Director, Neurocritical Care Fellowship

CV Highlights

CV Highlights

Medical School
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA (2003)

Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, MA (2004)

Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA (2007)

Post Residency
Cerebrovascular Disease, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (2008)
Critical Care Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (2009)

Board Certifications
Neurology, Vascular Neurology

Special Interests
Intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, unruptured intracranial aneurysms, acute ischemic stroke, cryptogenic stroke, acute neuromuscular disease, status epilepticus, neurologic complications of acute illness, traumatic brain injury

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Dr. Burns was born and raised in the North Shore suburbs of Boston. After earning his undergraduate degree at Duke University, he attended medical school at the University of Massachusetts. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Lahey Clinic Medical Center and residency in neurology at Tufts Medical Center, where he served as Chief Resident. He finished his post-graduate training with fellowships in cerebrovascular disease and critical care neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN under the guidance of Dr. Robert D. Brown Jr., Dr. Eelco Wijdicks, and others.

Dr. Burns joined the Department of Neurology at Boston Medical Center in 2009 as neurologist, neurointensivist, and vascular neurologist and is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Neurology, Vascular Neurology, and Neurocritical Care.

Dr. Burns' clinical and research interests broadly include the clinical aspects of various critical neurological illnesses, including acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, acute neuromuscular disease, status epilepticus, and traumatic brain injury. He is particularly interested in the influence of organized neurocritical care on the long-term outcomes of patients with these illnesses. Other interests include cryptogenic stroke, unruptured intracranial aneurysms, and neurological complications of acute illness.

Dr. Burns has authored a number of original papers and reviews on topics including the clinical use of brain biopsy, intracerebral hemorrhage, unruptured intracranial aneurysms, and neurological complications of acute illness. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for major journals in his field.

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Selected publications

Thaci B, Burns JD, Delalle I, Vu T, Davies KG. Intractable hiccups resolved after resection of a cavernous malformation of the medulla oblongata. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Oct;115(10):2247-50.

Rabinstein AA, Fugate JE, Mandrekar J, Burns JD, Seet RC, Dupont SA, Kauffman TJ, Asirvatham SJ, Friedman PA. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in cryptogenic stroke: a case-control study. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013 Nov;22(8):1405-11.

Stevenson E, Schembri F, Green DM, Burns JD. Serotonin syndrome associated with clozapine withdrawal. JAMA Neurol. 2013 Aug;70(8):1054-5.

Burns JD, Green DM, Lau H, Winter M, Koyfman F, Defusco CM, Holsapple JW, Kase CS. The Effect of a Neurocritical Care Service without a Dedicated Neuro-ICU on Quality of Care in Intracerebral Hemorrhage. Neurocrit Care 2013;18(3):305-12.

Orehek EK, Burns JD, Koyfman F, Azocar RJ, Holsapple JW, Green DM. Postpartum trifecta: simultaneous eclamptic intracerebral hemorrhage, PRES, and herniation due to intracranial hypotension. Neurocrit Care 2012;17(3):434-8

Burns JD, Green DM, Metivier K, DeFusco C. Intensive care management of acute ischemic stroke. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2012;30(3):713-44.

Westwood AJ, Burns JD, Green DM. Teaching NeuroImages: Pseudo-subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurology 2012;78(8):e54.

Green DM, Burns JD, Defusco CM. Management of Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. J Intensive Care Med. 2012 Feb 14.

Westwood AJ, Burns JD, Kase CS. Teaching NeuroImages: Isolated pineal hemorrhage. Neurology 2011;77(16):e95.

Dorfman JD, Burns JD, Green DM, DeFusco C, Agarwal S. Decompressive laparotomy for refractory intracranial hypertension after traumatic brain injury. Neurocrit Care. 2011 Dec;15(3):516-8.

Burns JD, Rabinstein AA, Roger VL, Stead LG, Christianson TJ, Killian JM, Brown RD Jr. Incidence and predictors of myocardial infarction after transient ischemic attack: a population-based study. Stroke. 2011 Apr;42(4):935-40.

Voetsch B, Tarlov N, Nguyen TN, Defusco C, Barest GD, Norbash A, Green DM, Burns JD. Asymmetric Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Complicating Hemodynamic Augmentation for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage-Associated Cerebral Vasospasm. Neurocrit Care. 2011 Oct 1.

Fugate JE, Burns JD, Wijdicks EF, Warner DO, Jankowski CJ, Rabinstein AA. Case report: prolonged high-dose isoflurane for refractory status epilepticus: is it safe? Anesth Analg. 2010;111(6):1520-4.

Yee AH, Burns JD, Wijdicks EF.Cerebral salt wasting: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Neurosurg Clin N Amer 2010;21(2):339-52.

Abou Zeid NE, Burns JD, Wijdicks EFM, Giannini C, Keegan BM. Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (Hurst's disease) presenting with focal hemorrhagic brainstem lesion. Neurocrit Care 2010;12:95-7.

Burns JD, Jacob JT, Luetmer PH, Wijdicks EF. CT perfusion evidence of early global cerebral hypoperfusion after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage with cardiac arrest. Neurocrit Care 2010;12(2):261-4.

Burns JD, Kosa SC, Wijdicks EF. Central pontine myelinolysis in a patient with hyperosmolar hyperglycemia and consistently normal serum sodium. Neurocrit Care. 2009;11(2):251-4.

Burns JD, Russell JA. Tension pneumothorax complicating apnea testing during brain death evaluation. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2008;15:580-582

Burns JD, Manno EM, Wijdicks EFM. An unusual cause of fixed dilated pupils after cardiac surgery. Neurocritical Care. 2008;9:370-373

Burns JD, Brown Jr RD. Treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms: surgery, coiling, or nothing? . 2009;9:6-12 [Review]

Burns JD, Manno EM. Primary intracerebral hemorrhage: update on epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment strategies. . 2008; 34:183-195 [Review]

Burns JD, Huston J, Layton KF, Piepgras DG, Brown RD. Intracranial aneurysm enlargement on serial magnetic resonance angiography: frequency and risk factors. Stroke. 2009;40:406-411

Burns JD, Cadigan RO, Russell JA. Evaluation of brain biopsy in the diagnosis severe neurologic disease of unknown etiology . Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. 2009;11:235-239

Burns JD, Schiefer TK, Wijdicks EFM. Large and small: A telltale sign of acute pontomesencephalic injury. Neurology. 2009;72:1707

Burrus TM, Burns JD, Lanzino G, Rabinstein AA, Uhm J. Clinical Reasoning: a 52 year-old man with confusional spells and severe headaches. Neurology. 2009;72:e105-e110

Burns JD, Rabinstein AA, Cloft H, Lanzino G, Daniels DJ, Wijdicks EFM. Minimally conscious state after rupture of a giant basilar aneurysm. Archives of Neurology. 2009;66:786-788

Thibert R, Burns JD, Takeoka M. Reversible uncal herniation in a neonate a large MCA infarct. Brain & Development. (epub ahead of print)

Yee AH, Burns JD, Wijdicks EFM. Cerebral salt wasting: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Neurosurgical Clinics of North America [Review] (In press)

Jacob JT, Burns JD, Lanzino G, Wijdicks EFM. Wall-eyed bilateral intranuclear ophthalmoplegia after ruptured aneurysm: Look out for hydrocephalus. Archives of Neurology (In press)




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Boston Medical Center
Department of Neurology
Shapiro Center
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725 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118

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