References of "Schnakers, Caroline"
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See detailPain issues in disorders of consciousness
Chatelle, Camille ULg; Thibaut, Aurore ULg; Wythe, John et al

in Brain Injury (2014), 28(9), 1202-1208

Background: The assessment of pain and nociception in non-communicative patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) is a real challenge for clinicians. It is, therefore, important to develop sensitive ... [more ▼]

Background: The assessment of pain and nociception in non-communicative patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) is a real challenge for clinicians. It is, therefore, important to develop sensitive standardized tools usable at the bedside. Objectives: This review aims to provide an overview of the current knowledge about pain processing and assessment in patients with DOC. Methods: A search was performed on PubMed using MeSH terms including vegetative state, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, minimally conscious state, consciousness disorders, pain, nociception, neuroimaging and pain assessment. Results: Neuroimaging studies investigating pain processing in patients with DOC and their implication for clinicians are reviewed. Current works on the development of standardized and sensitive tools for assessing nociception are described. Conclusion: The suggested pain perception capacity highlighted by neuroimaging studies in patients in a MCS and in some patients in a VS/UWS supports the idea that these patients need analgesic treatment and monitoring. The first tool which has been developed to assess nociception and pain in patients with DOC is the NCS. Its revised version represents a rapid, standardized and sensitive scale which can be easily implemented in a clinical setting. Complementary pain assessments are also under validation in order to offer more options to clinicians. [less ▲]

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See detailPerception of pain in the minimally conscious state with PET activation: an observational study.
Boly, Mélanie ULg; Faymonville, Marie-Elisabeth ULg; Schnakers, Caroline et al

in Lancet Neurology (2008), 7(11), 1013-20

BACKGROUND: Patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) show restricted self or environment awareness but are unable to communicate consistently and reliably. Therefore, better understanding of cerebral ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) show restricted self or environment awareness but are unable to communicate consistently and reliably. Therefore, better understanding of cerebral noxious processing in these patients is of clinical, therapeutic, and ethical relevance. METHODS: We studied brain activation induced by bilateral electrical stimulation of the median nerve in five patients in MCS (aged 18-74 years) compared with 15 controls (19-64 years) and 15 patients (19-75 years) in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) with (15)O-radiolabelled water PET. By way of psychophysiological interaction analysis, we also investigated the functional connectivity of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in patients and controls. Patients in MCS were scanned 57 (SD 33) days after admission, and patients in PVS 36 (9) days after admission. Stimulation intensities were 8.6 (SD 6.7) mA in patients in MCS, 7.4 (5.9) mA in controls, and 14.2 (8.7) mA in patients in PVS. Significant results were thresholded at p values of less than 0.05 and corrected for multiple comparisons. FINDINGS: In patients in MCS and in controls, noxious stimulation activated the thalamus, S1, and the secondary somatosensory or insular, frontoparietal, and anterior cingulate cortices (known as the pain matrix). No area was less activated in the patients in MCS than in the controls. All areas of the cortical pain matrix showed greater activation in patients in MCS than in those in PVS. Finally, in contrast with patients in PVS, those in MCS had preserved functional connectivity between S1 and a widespread cortical network that includes the frontoparietal associative cortices. INTERPRETATION: Cerebral correlates of pain processing are found in a similar network in controls and patients in MCS but are much more widespread than in patients in PVS. These findings might be objective evidence of a potential pain perception capacity in patients in MCS, which supports the idea that these patients need analgesic treatment. [less ▲]

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