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Brain Inj. 2009 Oct;23(11):915-9. doi: 10.1080/02699050903283197.

Circadian rhythms in the vegetative state.

Author information

1
Institute of Cognitive Neurology, Buenos Aires, Argentina. tristan.bekinschtein@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether vegetative state patients maintain circadian rhythms.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

An observational study of five single cases.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

Five chronic vegetative state patients underwent clinical and neurological evaluations and 2-week continuous temperature measurements.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS:

The two patients with traumatic brain injury showed well-formed circadian temperature rhythms and had more reflexive behaviours and relatively low cortical and sub-cortical atrophy, whereas the three patients from anoxic-hypoxic origin demonstrated no cycles or rhythmic behaviour.

CONCLUSIONS:

The presence of periods of wakefulness does not imply preserved sleep-wake cycling capacity, nor preserved circadian rhythms and it should not be taken as a distinguishing feature for the definition of the vegetative state.

PMID:
20100128
DOI:
10.1080/02699050903283197
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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