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Abstract Title:

Restoring consciousness with vagus nerve stimulation.

Abstract Source:

Curr Biol. 2017 Sep 25 ;27(18):R994-R996. PMID: 28950091

Abstract Author(s):

Martina Corazzol, Guillaume Lio, Arthur Lefevre, Gianluca Deiana, Laurence Tell, Nathalie André-Obadia, Pierre Bourdillon, Marc Guenot, Michel Desmurget, Jacques Luauté, Angela Sirigu

Article Affiliation:

Martina Corazzol

Abstract:

Patients lying in a vegetative state present severe impairments of consciousness [1] caused by lesions in the cortex, the brainstem, the thalamus and the white matter [2]. There is agreement that this condition may involve disconnections in long-range cortico-cortical and thalamo-cortical pathways [3]. Hence, in the vegetative state cortical activity is 'deafferented' from subcortical modulation and/or principally disrupted between fronto-parietal regions. Some patients in a vegetative state recover while others persistently remain in such a state. The neural signature of spontaneous recovery is linked to increased thalamo-cortical activity and improved fronto-parietal functional connectivity [3]. The likelihood of consciousness recovery depends on the extent of brain damage and patients' etiology, but after one year of unresponsive behavior, chances become low [1]. There is thus a need to explore novel ways of repairing lost consciousness. Here we report beneficial effects of vagus nerve stimulation on consciousness level of a single patient in a vegetative state, including improved behavioral responsiveness and enhanced brain connectivity patterns.

Study Type : Human: Case Report
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Additional Keywords : Nerve Stimulation

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