Assessment of consciousness following severe brain-injury is challenging. Our hypothesis is that electroencephalography (EEG) can provide information on awareness, in terms of oscillatory activity and network task-related modifications, in people with disorders of consciousness. Similar results were obtained with neuroimaging techniques; we aim at demonstrating the use of EEG, which is low cost and routinely implemented, to the same goal. Nineteen-channel EEG was recorded in 7 persons with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) and in 10 healthy subjects during the execution of active (attempted movement) and passive motor tasks as well as 2 mental imagery tasks. Event-related synchronization/desynchronization (ERS/ERD), coherence and network parameters were calculated in delta (1-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha1 (8-10 Hz), alpha2 (10-12 Hz), and beta (13-30 Hz) ranges. In UWS subjects, passive movement induced a weak alpha2 ERD over contralateral sensorimotor area. During motor imagery, ERD was detected over the frontal and motor contralateral brain areas; during spatial imagery, ERS in lower alpha band over the right temporo-parietal regions was missing. In UWS, functional connectivity provided evidence of network disruption and isolation of the motor areas, which cannot dialog with adjacent network nodes, likely suggesting a diffuse structural alteration. Our findings suggest that people with a clinical diagnosis of UWS were able to modulate their brain activity when prompted to perform movement tasks and thus suggest EEG as a potential tool to support diagnosis of disorders of consciousness.

EEG to Identify Attempted Movement in Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome

Storti, Silvia F;Arcaro, Chiara;
2020

Abstract

Assessment of consciousness following severe brain-injury is challenging. Our hypothesis is that electroencephalography (EEG) can provide information on awareness, in terms of oscillatory activity and network task-related modifications, in people with disorders of consciousness. Similar results were obtained with neuroimaging techniques; we aim at demonstrating the use of EEG, which is low cost and routinely implemented, to the same goal. Nineteen-channel EEG was recorded in 7 persons with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) and in 10 healthy subjects during the execution of active (attempted movement) and passive motor tasks as well as 2 mental imagery tasks. Event-related synchronization/desynchronization (ERS/ERD), coherence and network parameters were calculated in delta (1-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha1 (8-10 Hz), alpha2 (10-12 Hz), and beta (13-30 Hz) ranges. In UWS subjects, passive movement induced a weak alpha2 ERD over contralateral sensorimotor area. During motor imagery, ERD was detected over the frontal and motor contralateral brain areas; during spatial imagery, ERS in lower alpha band over the right temporo-parietal regions was missing. In UWS, functional connectivity provided evidence of network disruption and isolation of the motor areas, which cannot dialog with adjacent network nodes, likely suggesting a diffuse structural alteration. Our findings suggest that people with a clinical diagnosis of UWS were able to modulate their brain activity when prompted to perform movement tasks and thus suggest EEG as a potential tool to support diagnosis of disorders of consciousness.
ERS/ERD; awareness; coherence; disorder of consciousness; graph analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1017344
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