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Clin Neurophysiol. 2011 Apr;122(4):719-24. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2010.08.024. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Event-related brain potential modulation in patients with severe brain damage.

Author information

1
Department of Neurophysiology, IRCCS San Camillo, Venice, Italy. marianna.cavinato@ospedalesancamillo.net

Erratum in

  • Clin Neurophysiol. 2012 Mar;123(3):628.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The limited evidence and inconsistency of purposeful behaviors in patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) asks for objective electrophysiological marker of the level of consciousness. Here, a comparison between event-related potentials (ERPs) was investigated using different level of stimulus complexity.

METHODS:

The patients in vegetative state were 11 and the MCS patients were 6 [corrected]. Three oddball paradigms with different level of complexity were applied: sine tones, the subject's own name versus sine tones and other first names. Latencies and amplitudes of N1 and P3 waves were compared.

RESULTS:

Cortical responses were found in all MCS patients, and in 6 of 11 patients in VS. Healthy controls and MCS patients showed a progressive increase of P3 latency in relation to the level of stimulus complexity. No modulation of P3 latency was observed in the vegetative patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that the modulation of P3 latency related to stimulus complexity may represent an objective index of higher-order processing integration that predicts the recovery of consciousness from VS to MCS when clinical manifestations are inconsistent.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Modulation of P3 latency related to stimulus complexity could provide valuable information about the cognitive capabilities of unresponsive patients.

PMID:
21051281
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2010.08.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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