Coma and Other Pathological Disorders of Consciousness
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Coma is an unconscious brain state produced by a variety of acute or chronic brain insults. Coma is distinct from vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and akinetic mutism - conditions that are sometimes confused with coma. Mechanisms underlying coma are reviewed in this article, with an emphasis on the neuronal circuits supporting forebrain arousal. Specific time frames and probabilities of recovery from coma and vegetative state differ considerably depending on the nature of the underlying brain injury. Comparisons of pathological coma and general anesthesia (pharmacologically induced coma) suggest some overlap in the anatomical substrates and mechanisms at the neuronal circuit level. © 2009 unknown. Published by null.
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