References of "Laureys, Steven"
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See detailAn independent SSVEP-based brain-computer interface in locked-in-syndrome
Lesenfants, Damien ULg; Habbal, Dina; Lugo et al

in Journal of Neural Engineering (2014)

OBJECTIVE: Steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow healthy subjects to communicate. However, their dependence on gaze control prevents their use with ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow healthy subjects to communicate. However, their dependence on gaze control prevents their use with severely disabled patients. Gaze-independent SSVEP-BCIs have been designed but have shown a drop in accuracy and have not been tested in brain-injured patients. In the present paper, we propose a novel independent SSVEP-BCI based on covert attention with an improved classification rate. We study the influence of feature extraction algorithms and the number of harmonics. Finally, we test online communication on healthy volunteers and patients with locked-in syndrome (LIS). APPROACH: Twenty-four healthy subjects and six LIS patients participated in this study. An independent covert two-class SSVEP paradigm was used with a newly developed portable light emitting diode-based 'interlaced squares' stimulation pattern. MAIN RESULTS: Mean offline and online accuracies on healthy subjects were respectively 85 ± 2% and 74 ± 13%, with eight out of twelve subjects succeeding to communicate efficiently with 80 ± 9% accuracy. Two out of six LIS patients reached an offline accuracy above the chance level, illustrating a response to a command. One out of four LIS patients could communicate online. SIGNIFICANCE: We have demonstrated the feasibility of online communication with a covert SSVEP paradigm that is truly independent of all neuromuscular functions. The potential clinical use of the presented BCI system as a diagnostic (i.e., detecting command-following) and communication tool for severely brain-injured patients will need to be further explored. [less ▲]

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See detailUnresponsive wakefulness & translational neurorehabilitation.
Charland-Verville, Vanessa ULg; Thibaut, Aurore ULg; Wannez, Sarah ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, April 10)

The past 15years have provided an unprecedented collection of discoveries that bear upon our scientific understanding of recovery of consciousness in the human brain following severe brain damage ... [more ▼]

The past 15years have provided an unprecedented collection of discoveries that bear upon our scientific understanding of recovery of consciousness in the human brain following severe brain damage. Highlighted among these discoveries are unique demonstrations that patients with little or no behavioral evidence of conscious awareness may retain critical cognitive capacities and the first scientific demonstrations that some patients, with severely injured brains and very longstanding conditions of limited behavioral responsiveness, may nonetheless harbor latent capacities for recovery. Included among such capacities are particularly human functions of language and higher-level cognition that either spontaneously or through direct interventions may reemerge even at long time intervals or remain unrecognized. When patients in “persistent vegetative state” (recently also coined unresponsive wakefulness syndrome) show minimal signs of consciousness but are unable to reliably communicate the term minimally responsive or minimally conscious state (MCS) is used. MCS was recently subcategorized based on the complexity of patients' behaviors: MCS+ describes high-level behavioral responses (i.e., command following, intelligible verbalizations or non-functional communication) and MCS- describes low-level behavioral responses (i.e., visual pursuit, localization of noxious stimulation or contingent behavior such as appropriate smiling or crying to emotional stimuli). Patients who show non-behavioral evidence of consciousness or communication only measurable via ancillary testing (i.e., functional MRI, positron emission tomography, EEG or evoked potentials) can be considered to be in a functional locked-in syndrome. An improved assessment of brain function in coma and related states is not only changing nosology and medical care but also offers a better-documented diagnosis and prognosis and helps to further identify the neural correlates of human consciousness. Taken together, recent studies show that awareness is an emergent property of the collective behavior of frontoparietal top-down connectivity. Within this network, external (sensory) awareness depends on lateral prefrontal/parietal cortices while internal (self) awareness correlates with precuneal/mesiofrontal midline activity. Of clinical importance, this knowledge now permits to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients with disorders of consciousness, which currently remains very challenging. New technological advances now also permit to show command-specific changes in fMRI, EEG or eye-pupil measurements providing motor-independent evidence of conscious thoughts and in come cases even of communication. We will conclude by discussing related ethical issues and the challenge of improving our clinical care and quality of life in these challenging patients with disorders of consciousness. [less ▲]

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See detailBiased binomial assessment of cross-validated estimation of classification accuracies illustrated in diagnosis predictions
Noirhomme, Quentin ULg; Lesenfants, Damien ULg; Gomez, Francisco et al

in NeuroImage: Clinical (2014), 4

Multivariate classification is used in neuroimaging studies to infer brain activation or in medical applications to infer diagnosis. Their results are often assessed through either a binomial or a ... [more ▼]

Multivariate classification is used in neuroimaging studies to infer brain activation or in medical applications to infer diagnosis. Their results are often assessed through either a binomial or a permutation test. Here, we simulated classification results of generated random data to assess the influence of the cross-validation scheme on the significance of results. Distributions built from classification of random data with crossvalidation did not follow the binomial distribution. The binomial test is therefore not adapted. On the contrary, the permutation test was unaffected by the cross-validation scheme. The influence of the crossvalidation was further illustrated on real-data from a brain–computer interface experiment in patients with disorders of consciousness and from an fMRI study on patients with Parkinson disease. Three out of 16 patients with disorders of consciousness had significant accuracy on binomial testing, but only one showed significant accuracy using permutation testing. In the fMRI experiment, the mental imagery of gait could discriminate significantly between idiopathic Parkinson’s disease patients and healthy subjects according to the permutation test but not according to the binomial test. Hence, binomial testing could lead to biased estimation of significance and false positive or negative results. In our view, permutation testing is thus recommended for clinical application of classification with cross-validation. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional cerebral metabolic patterns demonstrate the role of anterior forebrain mesocircuit dysfunction in the severely injured brain
Fridman, Esteban A; Beattie, Bradley J; Broft, Allegra et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2014)

Although disorders of consciousness (DOCs) demonstrate widely varying clinical presentations and patterns of structural injury, global down-regulation and bilateral reductions in metabolism of the ... [more ▼]

Although disorders of consciousness (DOCs) demonstrate widely varying clinical presentations and patterns of structural injury, global down-regulation and bilateral reductions in metabolism of the thalamus and frontoparietal network are consistent findings. We test the hypothesis that global reductions of background synaptic activity in DOCs will associate with changes in the pattern of metabolic activity in the central thalamus and globus pallidus. We compared 32 [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose PETs obtained from severely brain-injured patients (BIs) and 10 normal volunteers (NVs). We defined components of the anterior forebrain mesocircuit on high-resolution T1-MRI (ventral, associative, and sensorimotor striatum; globus pallidus; central thalamus and noncentral thalamus). Metabolic profiles for BI and NV demonstrated distinct changes in the pattern of uptake: ventral and association striatum (but not sensorimotor) were significantly reduced relative to global mean uptake after BI; a relative increase in globus pallidus metabolism was evident in BI subjects who also showed a relative reduction of metabolism in the central thalamus. The reversal of globus pallidus and central thalamus profiles across BIs and NVs supports the mesocircuit hypothesis that broad functional (or anatomic) deafferentation may combine to reduce central thalamus activity and release globus pallidus activity in DOCs. In addition, BI subjects showed broad frontoparietal metabolic down-regulation consistent with prior studies supporting the link between central thalamic/pallidal metabolism and down-regulation of the frontoparietal network. Recovery of left hemisphere frontoparietal metabolic activity was further associated with command following. [less ▲]

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See detailWhite Matter Changes in Comatose Survivors of Anoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy and Traumatic Brain Injury: Comparative Diffusion-Tensor Imaging Study
Van Der Eerden, Anke; Khalilzadeh, Omid; Perlbarg, Vincent et al

in Radiology (2014), 270

Purpose:To analyze white matter pathologic abnormalities by using diffusion-tensor (DT) imaging in a multicenter prospective cohort of comatose patients following cardiac arrest or traumatic brain injury ... [more ▼]

Purpose:To analyze white matter pathologic abnormalities by using diffusion-tensor (DT) imaging in a multicenter prospective cohort of comatose patients following cardiac arrest or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Materials and Methods: Institutional review board approval and informed consent from proxies and control subjects were obtained. DT imaging was performed 5–57 days after insult in 49 cardiac arrest and 40 TBI patients. To control for DT imaging–processing variability, patients’ values were normalized to those of 111 control subjects. Automated segmentation software calculated normalized axial diffusivity (λ1) and radial diffusivity (λ) in 19 predefined white matter regions of interest (ROIs). DT imaging variables were compared by using general linear modeling, and side-to-side Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated. P values were corrected for multiple testing (Bonferroni). Results:In central white matter, λ1 differed from that in control subjects in six of seven TBI ROIs and five of seven cardiac arrest ROIs (all P < .01). The λ differed from that in control subjects in all ROIs in both patient groups (P < .01). In hemispheres, λ1 was decreased compared with that in control subjects in three of 12 TBI ROIs (P < .05) and nine of 12 cardiac arrest ROIs (P < .01). The λ was increased in all TBI ROIs (P < .01) and in seven of 12 cardiac arrest ROIs (P < .05). Cerebral hemisphere λ1 was lower in cardiac arrest than in TBI in six of 12 ROIs (P < .01), while λ was higher in TBI than in cardiac arrest in eight of 12 ROIs (P < .01). Diffusivity values were symmetrically distributed in cardiac arrest (P < .001 for side-to-side correlation) but not in TBI patients. Conclusion:DT imaging findings are consistent with the known predominance of cerebral hemisphere axonal injury in cardiac arrest and chiefly central myelin injury in TBI. This consistency supports the validity of DT imaging for differentiating axon and myelin damage in vivo in humans. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of zolpidem in chronic disorders of consciousness: a prospective open-label study.
Thonnard, Marie ULg; Gosseries, Olivia ULg; Demertzi, Athina ULg et al

in Functional Neurology (2014), 28(4), 259-64

Zolpidem has been reported as an "awakening drug" in some patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). We here present the results of a prospective openlabel study in chronic DOC patients. Sixty ... [more ▼]

Zolpidem has been reported as an "awakening drug" in some patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). We here present the results of a prospective openlabel study in chronic DOC patients. Sixty patients (35±15 years; 18 females; mean time since insult ± SD: 4±5.5 years; 31 with traumatic etiology) with a diagnosis of vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (n=28) or minimally conscious state (n=32) were behaviorally assessed using the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) before and one hour after administration of 10 mg of zolpidem. At the group level, the diagnosis did not change after intake of zolpidem (p=0.10) and CRS-R total scores decreased (p=0.01). Twelve patients (20%) showed improved behaviors and/or CRS-R total scores after zolpidem administration but in only one patient was the diagnosis after zolpidem intake found to show a significant improvement (functional object use), which suggested a change of diagnosis. However, in this patient, a double-blind placebo-controlled trial was performed in order to better specify the effects of zolpidem, but the patient, on this trial, failed to show any clinical improvements. The present open-label study therefore failed to show any clinically significant improvement (i.e., change of Effect of zolpidem in chronic disorders of consciousness: a prospective open-label study diagnosis) in any of the 60 studied chronic DOC patients. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing consciousness in coma and related states using transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography.
Gosseries, Olivia ULg; Thibaut, Aurore ULg; Boly, Mélanie ULg et al

in Annales Françaises d'Anesthésie et de Réanimation (2014)

Thanks to advances in medical care, an increased number of patients recover from coma. However, some remain in vegetative/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome or in a minimally conscious state. Detection of ... [more ▼]

Thanks to advances in medical care, an increased number of patients recover from coma. However, some remain in vegetative/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome or in a minimally conscious state. Detection of awareness in severely brain-injured patients is challenging because it relies on behavioral assessments, which can be affected by motor, sensory and cognitive impairments of the patients. Other means of evaluation are needed to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis in this challenging population. We will here review the different altered states of consciousness occurring after severe brain damage, and explain the difficulties associated with behavioral assessment of consciousness. We will then describe a non-invasive technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with high-density electroencephalography (TMS-EEG), which has allowed us to detect the presence or absence of consciousness in different physiological, pathological and pharmacological states. Some potential underlying mechanisms of the loss of consciousness will then be discussed. In conclusion, TMS-EEG is highly promising in identifying markers of consciousness at the individual level and might be of great value for clinicians in the assessment of consciousness. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantifying cortical EEG responses to TMS in (un)consciousness
Sarasso, S; Rosanova, M; Casali, A.G et al

in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience : Official Journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS) (2014)

We normally assess another individual's level of consciousness based on her or his ability to interact with the surrounding environment and communicate. Usually, if we observe purposeful behavior ... [more ▼]

We normally assess another individual's level of consciousness based on her or his ability to interact with the surrounding environment and communicate. Usually, if we observe purposeful behavior, appropriate responses to sensory inputs, and, above all, appropriate answers to questions, we can be reasonably sure that the person is conscious. However, we know that consciousness can be entirely within the brain, even in the absence of any interaction with the external world; this happens almost every night, while we dream. Yet, to this day, we lack an objective, dependable measure of the level of consciousness that is independent of processing sensory inputs and producing appropriate motor outputs. Theoretically, consciousness is thought to require the joint presence of functional integration and functional differentiation, otherwise defined as brain complexity. Here we review a series of recent studies in which Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation combined with electroencephalography (TMS/EEG) has been employed to quantify brain complexity in wakefulness and during physiological (sleep), pharmacological (anesthesia) and pathological (brain injury) loss of consciousness. These studies invariably show that the complexity of the cortical response to TMS collapses when consciousness is lost during deep sleep, anesthesia and vegetative state following severe brain injury, while it recovers when consciousness resurges in wakefulness, during dreaming, in the minimally conscious state or locked-in syndrome. The present paper will also focus on how this approach may contribute to unveiling the pathophysiology of disorders of consciousness affecting brain-injured patients. Finally, we will underline some crucial methodological aspects concerning TMS/EEG measurements of brain complexity. [less ▲]

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See detailConsciousness and Unconsciousness: An EEG Perspective
Noirhomme, Quentin ULg; Laureys, Steven ULg

in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience (2014), 45

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See detailDIRECTED INFORMATION TRANSFER IN SCALP ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHIC RECORDINGS: INSIGHTS ON DISORDERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Marinazzo, Daniele; Gosseries, Olivia ULg; Boly, Mélanie ULg et al

in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience : Official Journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS) (2014)

Introduction: The neural mechanisms underlying electrophysiological changes observed in patients with disorders of consciousness following a coma remain poorly understood. The aim of this article is to ... [more ▼]

Introduction: The neural mechanisms underlying electrophysiological changes observed in patients with disorders of consciousness following a coma remain poorly understood. The aim of this article is to investigate the mechanisms underlying the differences in spontaneous electroencephalography between patients in vegetative/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, minimally conscious state, emergence of the minimally conscious state and age-matched healthy control subjects. <br />Methods: Forty recording of spontaneous scalp electroencephalography were performed in 27 patients who were comatose on admission, and on healthy controls. Multivariate Granger Causality and Transfer Entropy were applied on the data. <br />Results: Distinctive patterns of putative bottlenecks of information were associated to each conscious state. Healthy controls are characterized by a greater amount of synergetic contributions from duplets of variables. <br />Conclusion: A novel set of measures was tested to get a novel insight on the pattern of information transfer in a network of scalp electrodes in patients with disorders of consciousness. [less ▲]

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See detailAutomated analysis of background EEG and reactivity during therapeutic hypothermia in comatose patients after cardiac arrest
Noirhomme, Quentin ULg; Lehembre, Rémy; Lugo, Zulay et al

in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience : Official Journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS) (2014)

Visual analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) background and reactivity during therapeutic hypothermia provides important outcome information, but is time-consuming and not always consistent between ... [more ▼]

Visual analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) background and reactivity during therapeutic hypothermia provides important outcome information, but is time-consuming and not always consistent between reviewers. Automated EEG analysis may help quantify the brain damage. Forty-six comatose patients in therapeutic hypothermia, after cardiac arrest, were included in the study. EEG background was quantified with burst-suppression ratio (BSR) and approximate entropy, both used to monitor anesthesia. Reactivity was detected through change in the power spectrum of signal before and after stimulation. Automatic results obtained almost perfect agreement (discontinuity) to substantial agreement (background reactivity) with a visual score from EEG-certified neurologists. Burst-suppression ratio was more suited to distinguish continuous EEG background from burst-suppression than approximate entropy in this specific population. Automatic EEG background and reactivity measures were significantly related to good and poor outcome. We conclude that quantitative EEG measurements can provide promising information regarding current state of the patient and clinical outcome, but further work is needed before routine application in a clinical setting. [less ▲]

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See detailA vibrotactile P300-based BCI for consciousness detection and communication
Lugo, Zulay; Rodriguez, Javi; Lechner, Alexander et al

in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience : Official Journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS) (2014)

Brain–computer interface (BCI) has been used for many years for communication in severely disabled patients. BCI based on electrophysiological signals has enabled communication, using auditory or visual ... [more ▼]

Brain–computer interface (BCI) has been used for many years for communication in severely disabled patients. BCI based on electrophysiological signals has enabled communication, using auditory or visual stimuli to elicit event-related potentials (ERPs). The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with locked-in syndrome (LIS) could elicit a P300 wave, using a vibrotactile oddball paradigm for establishing somatosensory BCI-based communication. Six chronic LIS patients performed 2electroencephalography (EEG)-based vibrotactile P300 oddball tasks. After a simple mental counting task of the target stimuli, participants were instructed to answer 5 questions by counting the vibration on either the right wrist for “yes” or the left wrist for “no.” All participants were able to elicit a P300 wave using the vibrotactile oddball paradigm BCI task. In the counting task, 4 patients got accuracies of 100% (average above chance). In the communication task, one patient achieved 100% accuracy (average above chance). We have shown the feasibility of eliciting a P300 response using vibrotactile stimulation in patients with LIS. The present study provides evidence that this approach can be used for EEG-based BCI communications in this patient group. This is the first study to prove the feasibility of a BCI based on somatosensory (vibratory) stimulation in a group of braininjured patients. Furthermore, this approach could be used for the detection of consciousness in non-communicating patients due to severe brain injuries. [less ▲]

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See detailPreserved Covert Cognition in Noncommunicative Patients With Severe Brain Injury?
Schnackers, caroline; Giacino, Joseph T.; Løvstad, Marianne et al

in Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair (2014)

Background. Despite recent evidence suggesting that some severely brain-injured patients retain some capacity for topdown processing (covert cognition), the degree of sparing is unknown. Objective. Top ... [more ▼]

Background. Despite recent evidence suggesting that some severely brain-injured patients retain some capacity for topdown processing (covert cognition), the degree of sparing is unknown. Objective. Top-down attentional processing was assessed in patients in minimally conscious (MCS) and vegetative states (VS) using an active event-related potential (ERP) paradigm. Methods. A total of 26 patients were included (38 ± 12 years old, 9 traumatic, 21 patients >1 year postonset): 8 MCS+, 8 MCS−, and 10 VS patients. There were 14 healthy controls (30 ± 8 years old). The ERP paradigm included (1) a passive condition and (2) an active condition, wherein the participant was instructed to voluntarily focus attention on his/her own name. In each condition, the participant’s own name was presented 100 times (ie, 4 blocks of 25 stimuli). Results. In 5 MCS+ patients as well as in 3 MCS− patients and 1 VS patient, an enhanced P3 amplitude was observed in the active versus passive condition. Relative to controls, patients showed a response that was (1) widely distributed over frontoparietal areas and (2) not present in all blocks (3 of 4). In patients with covert cognition, the amplitude of the response was lower in frontocentral electrodes compared with controls but did not differ from that in the MCS+ group. Conclusion. The results indicate that volitional top-down attention is impaired in patients with covert cognition. Further investigation is crucially needed to better understand top-down cognitive functioning in this population because this may help refine brain-computer interface–based communication strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailSelf in the vegetative state
VANHAUDENHUYSE, Audrey ULg; Demertzi, Athina ULg; Brédart, Serge ULg et al

in Mishara, A; Corlett, P; Fletcher, P (Eds.) et al Phenomenological Neuropsychiatry: Bridging the Clinic with Clinical Neuroscience (2014)

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See detailPositron emission tomography imaging in altered states of consciousness: Coma, sleep and hypnosis
Thibaut, Aurore ULg; Chatelle, Camille ULg; Stender, Johan et al

in Dierckx, Rudi; Otte, Andreas; Vries, Erik (Eds.) et al PET and SPECT in Neurology (2014)

Positron emission tomography (PET) allows studies of cerebral metabolism and blood flow and has been widely used to investigate physiological mechanisms underlying altered states of consciousness. The aim ... [more ▼]

Positron emission tomography (PET) allows studies of cerebral metabolism and blood flow and has been widely used to investigate physiological mechanisms underlying altered states of consciousness. The aim of this chapter is to review the current literature on brain metabolism during physiological or pathological loss of consciousness including studies on disorders of consciousness arising from severe brain injury (vegetative/unresponsive or minimally conscious states), and related non-pathological conditions such as sleep and hypnotic states. Identifying brain areas specifically involved in conscious processing, these studies have contributed to our understanding of the underlying physiology of consciousness. The precuneal and cingulate cortices, for example, seem to be key areas for maintaining consciousness awareness. Other areas such as hypothalamus, amygdala or the temporo-occipital cortex seem to play a role in different states of unconsciousness such as rapid eye movement sleep and hypnosis. PET studies permit a better comprehension of the loss of consciousness, and focus the implication of specific neural areas and networks in pathologically (vegetative/unresponsive or minimally conscious states), physiologically (sleep), and hypnotically altered states of consciousness. [less ▲]

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See detailChanges in cerebral metabolism in patients with a minimally conscious state responding to zolpidem.
Chatelle, Camille ULg; Thibaut, Aurore ULg; Gosseries, Olivia ULg et al

in Frontiers in Neuroscience (2014), 8

BACKGROUND: Zolpidem, a short-acting non-benzodiazepine GABA agonist hypnotic, has been shown to induce paradoxical responses in some patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC), leading to recovery of ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Zolpidem, a short-acting non-benzodiazepine GABA agonist hypnotic, has been shown to induce paradoxical responses in some patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC), leading to recovery of arousal and cognitive abilities. We here assessed zolpidem-induced changes in regional brain metabolism in three patients with known zolpidem response in chronic post-anoxic minimally conscious state (MCS). METHODS: [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and standardized clinical assessments using the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised were performed after administration of 10 mg zolpidem or placebo in a randomized double blind 2-day protocol. PET data preprocessing and comparison with a healthy age-matched control group were performed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM8). RESULTS: Behaviorally, all patients recovered functional communication after administration of zolpidem (i.e., emergence from the MCS). FDG-PET showed increased metabolism in dorsolateral prefrontal and mesiofrontal cortices after zolpidem but not after placebo administration. CONCLUSION: Our data show a metabolic activation of prefrontal areas, corroborating the proposed mesocircuit hypothesis to explain the paradoxical effect of zolpidem observed in some patients with DOC. It also suggests the key role of the prefrontal cortices in the recovery of functional communication and object use in hypoxic patients with chronic MCS. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiple fMRI system-level baseline connectivity is disrupted in patients with consciousness alterations
Demertzi, Athina ULg; Gomez, Francisco; Crone, Julia-Sophia et al

in Cortex : A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System & Behavior (2014), 52

Introduction: In healthy conditions, group-level fMRI resting state analyses identify ten resting state networks (RSNs) of cognitive relevance. Here, we aim to assess the tennetwork model in severely ... [more ▼]

Introduction: In healthy conditions, group-level fMRI resting state analyses identify ten resting state networks (RSNs) of cognitive relevance. Here, we aim to assess the tennetwork model in severely brain-injured patients suffering from disorders of consciousness and to identify those networks which will be most relevant to discriminate between patients and healthy subjects. Methods: 300 fMRI volumes were obtained in 27 healthy controls and 53 patients in minimally conscious state (MCS), vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/ UWS) and coma. Independent component analysis (ICA) reduced data dimensionality. The ten networks were identified by means of a multiple template-matching procedure and were tested on neuronality properties (neuronal vs non-neuronal) in a data-driven way. Univariate analyses detected between-group differences in networks’ neuronal properties and estimated voxel-wise functional connectivity in the networks, which were significantly less identifiable in patients. A nearest-neighbor “clinical” classifier was used to determine the networks with high between-group discriminative accuracy. Results: Healthy controls were characterized by more neuronal components compared to patients in VS/UWS and in coma. Compared to healthy controls, fewer patients in MCS and VS/UWS showed components of neuronal origin for the left executive control network, default mode network (DMN), auditory, and right executive control network. The “clinical” classifier indicated the DMN and auditory network with the highest accuracy (85.3%) in discriminating patients from healthy subjects. [less ▲]

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