Pathophysiology of acute coma and disorders of consciousness: Considerations for diagnosis and management

Bethany M. McClenathan, Nitish V. Thakor, Robert E. Hoesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Disorders of consciousness are due to failure of the arousal system. In this review, the authors introduce the spectrum of disorders of consciousness and describe the structures, projections, and neurotransmitters involved in the generation and maintenance of arousal. Next, they discuss the neurologic diseases frequently associated with arousal failure. Evaluation of patients with disorders of arousal is summarized, including the neurologic exam, electrophysiological studies, biochemical testing, and imaging modalities. Finally, they review treatment options, including therapeutic hypothermia, medications, and deep brain and spinal cord stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-109
Number of pages19
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 9 2013

Keywords

  • arousal
  • cardiac arrest
  • coma
  • consciousness
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • ischemic stroke
  • minimally conscious state
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • therapeutic hypothermia
  • traumatic brain injury
  • vegetative state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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