References of "Demertzi, Athina"
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See detailDisorders of consciousness: new advances in neuroimaging techniques
Soddu, Andrea ULg; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ULg; VANHAUDENHUYSE, Audrey ULg et al

in Zanotti, Bruno (Ed.) Vegetative State (in press)

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See detailRepeated Behavioral Assessments in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness
Wannez, Sarah ULg; Annen, Jitka ULg; Aubinet, Charlène ULg et al

Conference (2016, March 04)

The Coma Recovery Scale Revised (CRS-R) is considered as the most sensitive scale to assess patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). Guidelines recommend repeated assessments because patients might ... [more ▼]

The Coma Recovery Scale Revised (CRS-R) is considered as the most sensitive scale to assess patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). Guidelines recommend repeated assessments because patients might suffer from consciousness fluctuations, but it is not specified how many assessments are needed. The present study included 131 patients with DOC. They have been assessed at least 6 times during a 14-days period with the CRS-R. Results show that 5 CRS-R assessments are needed to reach a reliable diagnosis, and that all the CRS-R subscales are influenced by consciousness fluctuations. We here showed that consciousness fluctuations influence the behavioral diagnosis, and that 5 assessments within a short period of time are needed to get a reliable clinical diagnosis. [less ▲]

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See detailPain and Nociception in Disorders of Consciousness
Chatelle, Camille ULg; LAUREYS, Steven ULg; Demertzi, Athina ULg

in Luis Garcia-Larrea, France; Jackson, Philip L. (Eds.) Pain and the Conscious Brain (2016)

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See detailCorrelation between resting state fMRI total neuronal activity and PET metabolism in healthy controls and patients with disorders of consciousness
Soddu, Andrea ULg; Gomez, Francisco; Heine, Lizette ULg et al

in Brain and Behavior (2016)

Introduction: The mildly invasive 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is a well-established imaging technique to measure ‘resting state’ cerebral metabolism. This technique made ... [more ▼]

Introduction: The mildly invasive 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is a well-established imaging technique to measure ‘resting state’ cerebral metabolism. This technique made it possible to assess changes in metabolic activity in clinical applications, such as the study of severe brain injury and disorders of consciousness. Objective: We assessed the possi- bility of creating functional MRI activity maps, which could estimate the rela- tive levels of activity in FDG-PET cerebral metabolic maps. If no metabolic absolute measures can be extracted, our approach may still be of clinical use in centers without access to FDG-PET. It also overcomes the problem of recogniz- ing individual networks of independent component selection in functional mag- netic resonance imaging (fMRI) resting state analysis. Methods: We extracted resting state fMRI functional connectivity maps using independent component analysis and combined only components of neuronal origin. To assess neu- ronality of components a classification based on support vector machine (SVM) was used. We compared the generated maps with the FDG-PET maps in 16 healthy controls, 11 vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients and four locked-in patients. Results: The results show a significant similarity with q = 0.75  0.05 for healthy controls and q = 0.58  0.09 for vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients between the FDG- PET and the fMRI based maps. FDG-PET, fMRI neuronal maps, and the conjunction analysis show decreases in frontoparietal and medial regions in vegetative patients with respect to controls. Subsequent analysis in locked-in syndrome patients produced also consistent maps with healthy controls. Conclusions: The constructed resting state fMRI functional connectivity map points toward the possibility for fMRI resting state to estimate relative levels of activity in a metabolic map. [less ▲]

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See detailCortical reorganization in an astronaut's brain after long-duration spaceflight.
Demertzi, Athina ULg; Van Ombergen, Angelique; Tomilovskaya, Elena et al

in Brain Structure & Function (2015)

To date, hampered physiological function after exposure to microgravity has been primarily attributed to deprived peripheral neuro-sensory systems. For the first time, this study elucidates alterations in ... [more ▼]

To date, hampered physiological function after exposure to microgravity has been primarily attributed to deprived peripheral neuro-sensory systems. For the first time, this study elucidates alterations in human brain function after long-duration spaceflight. More specifically, we found significant differences in resting-state functional connectivity between motor cortex and cerebellum, as well as changes within the default mode network. In addition, the cosmonaut showed changes in the supplementary motor areas during a motor imagery task. These results highlight the underlying neural basis for the observed physiological deconditioning due to spaceflight and are relevant for future interplanetary missions and vestibular patients. [less ▲]

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See detailTutorial on novel techniques for assessing patients with disorders of consciousness
Chatelle, Camille ULg; Sitt, Jacobo; Goldfine, Andrew et al

Conference (2015)

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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)

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 detailMeasuring consciousness in coma and related states
Di Perri, Carol; Thibaut, Aurore ULg; Soddu, Andrea ULg et al

in World Journal of Radiology (2014), 6(8),

Consciousness is a prismatic and ambiguous concept that still eludes any universal definition. Severe acquired brain injuries resulting in a disorder of consciousness (DOC) provide a model from which ... [more ▼]

Consciousness is a prismatic and ambiguous concept that still eludes any universal definition. Severe acquired brain injuries resulting in a disorder of consciousness (DOC) provide a model from which insights into consciousness can be drawn. A number of recent studies highlight the difficulty in making a diagnosis in patients with DOC based only on behavioral assessments. Here we aim to provide an overview of how neuroimaging techniques can help assess patients with DOC. Such techniques are expected to facilitate a more accurate understanding of brain function in states of unconsciousness and to improve the evaluation of the patient’s cognitive abilities by providing both diagnostic and prognostic indicators. [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 detailDiagnostic precision of PET imaging and functional MRI in disorders of consciousness: a clinical validation study
Stender, Johan; Gosseries, Olivia ULg; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ULg et al

in Lancet Neurology (2014)

Background: Bedside clinical examinations can have high rates of misdiagnosis of unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (vegetative state) or minimally conscious state. The diagnostic and prognostic usefulness ... [more ▼]

Background: Bedside clinical examinations can have high rates of misdiagnosis of unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (vegetative state) or minimally conscious state. The diagnostic and prognostic usefulness of neuroimaging-based approaches has not been established in a clinical setting. We did a validation study of two neuroimaging-based diagnostic methods: PET imaging and functional MRI (fMRI). Methods: For this clinical validation study, we included patients referred to the University Hospital of Liège, Belgium, between January, 2008, and June, 2012, who were diagnosed by our unit with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, locked-in syndrome, or minimally conscious state with traumatic or non-traumatic causes. We did repeated standardised clinical assessments with the Coma Recovery Scale—Revised (CRS—R), cerebral 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and fMRI during mental activation tasks. We calculated the diagnostic accuracy of both imaging methods with CRS—R diagnosis as reference. We assessed outcome after 12 months with the Glasgow Outcome Scale—Extended. Findings: We included 41 patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, four with locked-in syndrome, and 81 in a minimally conscious state (48=traumatic, 78=non-traumatic; 110=chronic, 16=subacute). 18F-FDG PET had high sensitivity for identification of patients in a minimally conscious state (93%, 95% CI 85—98) and high congruence (85%, 77—90) with behavioural CRS—R scores. The active fMRI method was less sensitive at diagnosis of a minimally conscious state (45%, 30—61) and had lower overall congruence with behavioural scores (63%, 51—73) than PET imaging. 18F-FDG PET correctly predicted outcome in 75 of 102 patients (74%, 64—81), and fMRI in 36 of 65 patients (56%, 43—67). 13 of 42 (32%) of the behaviourally unresponsive patients (ie, diagnosed as unresponsive with CRS—R) showed brain activity compatible with (minimal) consciousness (ie, activity associated with consciousness, but diminished compared with fully conscious individuals) on at least one neuroimaging test; 69% of these (9 of 13) patients subsequently recovered consciousness. Interpretation: Cerebral 18F-FDG PET could be used to complement bedside examinations and predict long-term recovery of patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome. Active fMRI might also be useful for differential diagnosis, but seems to be less accurate. Funding: The Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research (FNRS), Fonds Léon Fredericq, the European Commission, the James McDonnell Foundation, the Mind Science Foundation, the French Speaking Community Concerted Research Action, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Liège. [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 detailAmantadine, Apomorphine and Zolpidem in the Treatment of Disorders of Consciousness
Gosseries, Olivia ULg; Charland-Verville, Vanessa ULg; Thonnard, Marie ULg et al

in Current Pharmaceutical Design (2014), 20

Survivors of severe brain injuries may end up in a state of 'wakeful unresponsiveness' or in a minimally conscious state. Pharmacological treatments of patients with disorders of consciousness aim to ... [more ▼]

Survivors of severe brain injuries may end up in a state of 'wakeful unresponsiveness' or in a minimally conscious state. Pharmacological treatments of patients with disorders of consciousness aim to improve arousal levels and recovery of consciousness. We here provide a systematic overview of the therapeutic effects of amantadine, apomorphine and zolpidem in patients recovering from coma. Evidence from clinical trials using these commonly prescribed pharmacological agents suggests positive changes in the neurological status in patients, leading sometimes to dramatic improvements. These findings are discussed in the context of current hypotheses of these agents' therapeutic mechanisms on cerebral function. In order to enhance our understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of these drugs, we suggest combining sensitive and specific behavioral tools with neuroimaging and electrophysiological measures in large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental designs. We conclude that the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of amantadine, apomorphine and zolpidem need further exploration to determine which treatment would provide a better neurological outcome regarding the patient's etiology, diagnosis, time since injury and overall condition. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of visual pursuit in patients in minimally conscious state: a matter of stimuli and visual plane?
Thonnard, Marie; Wannez, Sarah ULg; Keen, Shannan et al

in Brain injury (2014), 28(9), 1164-70

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether the assessment of pursuit eye movements in patients in minimally conscious state (MCS) is influenced by the choice of the visual stimulus (study ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether the assessment of pursuit eye movements in patients in minimally conscious state (MCS) is influenced by the choice of the visual stimulus (study 1) and by the moving plane (study 2). METHODS: Patients with MCS (MCS- and MCS+) in the acute (<1 month post-injury) or chronic (>1 month) setting were assessed. The Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) procedure was used to test visual pursuit of a moving mirror, object and person (study 1, n = 88) and to test vertical and horizontal visual tracking (study 2, n = 94). RESULTS: Study 1: Patients with visual pursuit tracked preferentially the moving mirror over the moving person or object. Study 2: Patients displaying visual pursuit, especially in MCS- and in chronic setting, preferentially tracked on the horizontal rather than the vertical plane. CONCLUSION: The findings confirm the importance of using a mirror to assess visual pursuit in patients in MCS and of initiating testing using the horizontal plane, specifically in patients in MCS- and those in chronic setting. Assessment should then be done on the vertical plane if visual pursuit is not detected on the horizontal plane. [less ▲]

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See detailA European survey on attitudes towards pain and end-of-life issues in locked-in syndrome
Demertzi, Athina ULg; Jox, Ralf J; Racine, Eric et al

in Brain Injury (2014), 28(9), 12091215

Objectives: Patients with locked-in syndrome often self-report a higher quality of life than generally expected. This study reports third-person attitudes towards several salient issues on locked-in ... [more ▼]

Objectives: Patients with locked-in syndrome often self-report a higher quality of life than generally expected. This study reports third-person attitudes towards several salient issues on locked-in syndrome. Methods: Close-ended survey among conference attendees from 33 European countries. Analysis included chi-square tests and logistic regressions. Results: From the 3332 respondents (33% physicians, 18% other clinicians, 49% other professions; 47% religious), 90% agreed that patients with locked-in syndrome can feel pain. The majority (75%) disagreed with treatment withdrawal, but 56% did not wish to be kept alive if they imagined themselves in this condition (p<0.001). Religious and southern Europeans opposed to treatment withdrawal more often than non-religious (p<0.001) and participants from the North (p=0.001). When the locked-in syndrome was compared to disorders of consciousness, more respondents endorsed that being in a chronic locked-in syndrome was worse than being in a vegetative state or minimally conscious state for patients (59%) than they thought for families (40%, p<0.001). Conclusions: Personal characteristics mediate opinions about locked-in syndrome. The dissociation between personal preferences and general opinions underlie the difference in perspective in disability. Ethical responses to dilemmas involving patients with locked-in syndrome should consider the diverging ethical attitudes of stakeholders. [less ▲]

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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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