Background and Objectives:Disorders of consciousness, EEG background suppression and epileptic seizures are associated with poor outcome after cardiac arrest. Our objective was to identify the distribution of diffusion MRI-measured anoxic brain injury after cardiac arrest and to define the regional correlates of disorders of consciousness, EEG background suppression, and seizures.Methods:We analyzed patients from a single-center database of unresponsive patients who underwent diffusion MRI following cardiac arrest (n=204). We classified each patient based on recovery of consciousness (command-following) before discharge, the most continuous EEG background (burst suppression versus continuous), and the presence or absence of seizures. Anoxic brain injury was measured using the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) signal. We identified ADC abnormalities relative to control subjects without cardiac arrest (n=48) and used voxel lesion symptom mapping to identify regional associations with disorders of consciousness, EEG background suppression, and seizures. We then used a bootstrapped lasso regression procedure to identify robust, multivariate regional associations with each outcome variable. Finally, using area under receiver operating characteristic curves, we then compared the classification ability of the strongest regional associations to that of brain-wide summary measures.Results:Compared to controls, cardiac arrest patients demonstrated ADC signal reduction most significant in the occipital lobes. Disorders of consciousness were associated with reduced ADC most prominently in the occipital lobes, but also in deep structures. Regional injury more accurately classified patients with disorders of consciousness than whole-brain injury. Background suppression mapped to a similar set of brain regions, but regional injury could no better classify patients than whole-brain measures. Seizures were less common in patients with more severe anoxic injury, particularly in those with injury to the lateral temporal white matter.Discussion:Anoxic brain injury was most prevalent in posterior cerebral regions, and this regional pattern of injury was a better predictor of disorders of consciousness than whole-brain injury measures. EEG background suppression lacked a specific regional association, but patients with injury to the temporal lobe were less likely to have seizures. Regional patterns of anoxic brain injury are relevant to the clinical and electrographic sequelae of cardiac arrest and may hold importance for prognosis.Classification of Evidence:This study provides Class IV evidence that disorders of consciousness after cardiac arrest are associated with widely lower ADC values on diffusion MRI and are most strongly associated with reductions in occipital ADC.
Epileptic seizures/post-traumatic epilepsy (ES/PTE) are frequent in persons with brain injuries, particularly for patients with more severe injuries including ones that result in disorders of consciousness (DoC). Surprisingly, there are currently no best practice guidelines for assessment or management of ES in persons with DoC. This study aimed to identify clinician attitudes toward epilepsy prophylaxis, diagnosis and treatment in patients with DoC as well as current practice in regards to the use of amantadine in these individuals. A cross-sectional online survey was sent to members of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA). Fifty physician responses were included in the final analysis. Withdrawal of antiepileptic drug/anti-seizure medications (AED/ASM) therapy was guided by the absence of evidence of clinical seizure whether or not the AED/ASM was given prophylactically or for actual seizure/epilepsy treatment. Standard EEG was the most frequent diagnostic method utilized. The majority of respondents ordered an EEG if there were concerns regarding lack of neurological progress. AED/ASM prescription was reported to be triggered by the first clinically evident seizure with levetiracetam being the AED/ASM of choice. Amantadine was frequently prescribed although less so in patients with epilepsy and/or EEG based epileptic abnormalities. A minority of respondents reported an association between amantadine and seizure. Longitudinal studies on epilepsy management, epilepsy impact on neurologic prognosis, as well as potential drug effects on seizure risk in persons with DoC appear warranted with the goal of pushing guideline development forward and improving clinical assessment and management of seizures in this unique, albeit challenging, population.
It is suggested that dopaminergic treatment may contribute to accelerated improvement in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DoC). Dopamine is an important stimulatory neurotransmitter, which plays a key role in alertness, arousal, behavior, emotion, cognition, and motor function. We discuss our experience with Madopar in 2 patients with DoC and review the literature on dopaminergic medication in patients with DoC.
В данной статье автор рассматривает вопросы пароксизмального расстройства сознания у взрослых, которые выражаются в эпилептических припадках, потери сознания, обморок, панические атаки, расстройства сна. Оценка временных нарушений сознания имеет решающее значение для диагностики эпилептических припадков, обмороков, парасомний, органических энцефалопатий и психогенных непилептических припадков
A temporary change in consciousness is the main clinical problem of neurology. Assessment of transient disorders of consciousness is crucial for the diagnosis of epileptic seizures, syncope, parasomnias, organic encephalopathies, and psychogenic non-pictorial seizures. Attacks and other disorders of consciousness converge on a common set of cortical and subcortical structures. These structures constitute the "system of consciousness."Paroxysmal disorders are one of the most important problems of modern clinical medicine, which is characterized by a steady increase in the frequency of these pathological conditions in people of young and middle age and the diagnostic complexity of many conditions. The analysis of modern publications, presented the results of their own observations on the studied problem.
Background and Objectives:In patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), disorders of consciousness (COVID-DoC) have emerged as a serious complication. The prognosis and pathophysiology of COVID-DoC remain unclear, complicating decisions about continuing life-sustaining treatment. We describe the natural history of COVID-DoC and investigate its associated brain connectivity profile.Methods:In a prospective, longitudinal study, we screened consecutive patients with COVID-19 at our institution. We enrolled critically ill adult patients with a DoC unexplained by sedation or structural brain injury, and who were planned to undergo a brain MRI. We performed resting state functional MRI and diffusion MRI to evaluate functional and structural connectivity, as compared to healthy controls and patients with DoC resulting from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). We assessed the recovery of consciousness (command-following) and functional outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended [GOSE] and the Disability Rating Scale [DRS]) at hospital discharge, three months post-discharge, and six months post-discharge. We also explored whether clinical variables were associated with recovery from COVID-DoC.Results:After screening 1,105 patients with COVID-19, we enrolled twelve with COVID-DoC. The median age was 63.5 years [interquartile range 55-76.3]. Excluding one who died shortly after enrollment, all of the remaining eleven patients recovered consciousness, after 0-25 days (median 7 [5-14.5]) following the cessation of continuous intravenous sedation. At discharge, all surviving patients remained dependent – median GOSE 3 [1-3], median DRS 23 [16-30]. However ultimately, except for two patients with severe polyneuropathy, all returned home with normal cognition and minimal disability – at three months, median GOSE 3 [3-3], median DRS 7 [5-13]; at six months, median GOSE 4 [4-5], median DRS 3 [3-5]. Ten patients with COVID-DoC underwent advanced neuroimaging; functional and structural brain connectivity in COVID-DoC was diminished compared to healthy controls, and structural connectivity was comparable to patients with severe TBI.Discussion:Patients who survived invariably recovered consciousness after COVID-DoC. Though disability was common following hospitalization, functional status improved over the ensuing months. While future research is necessary, these prospective findings inform the prognosis and pathophysiology of COVID-DoC.Trial Registration Information:Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04476589, submitted 7/2020, first enrolled 7/20/2020, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04476589