Brain function in coma, vegetative state, and related disorders Article Report uri icon

Overview

MeSH Major

  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Persistent Vegetative State

abstract

  • We review the nosological criteria and functional neuroanatomical basis for brain death, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and the locked-in state. Functional neuroimaging is providing new insights into cerebral activity in patients with severe brain damage. Measurements of cerebral metabolism and brain activations in response to sensory stimuli with PET, fMRI, and electrophysiological methods can provide information on the presence, degree, and location of any residual brain function. However, use of these techniques in people with severe brain damage is methodologically complex and needs careful quantitative analysis and interpretation. In addition, ethical frameworks to guide research in these patients must be further developed. At present, clinical examinations identify nosological distinctions needed for accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Neuroimaging techniques remain important tools for clinical research that will extend our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these disorders.

publication date

  • September 2004

Research

keywords

  • Report

Identity

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S1474-4422(04)00852-X

PubMed ID

  • 15324722

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 537

end page

  • 46

volume

  • 3

number

  • 9