Differentiation between disorders of consciousness and disorders of movement using functional MRI

Clinical Psychology
Case Report
10.1102/1470-5206.2011.0015
11
60-65
Differentiation between disorders of consciousness and disorders of movement using functional MRI

The differential diagnosis between disorders of consciousness (DoC), on the one hand, and conditions of severe immobility with aphasia, on the other hand, is extremely difficult. A patient is described whose morphology of brain lesions permitted both kinds of disorder. A battery of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) examinations was applied indicating that severe DoC was implausible. The following clinical course confirmed this conclusion, resulting in a severe tetraparesis/aphasia, however with clear awareness. The data suggest that fMRI can be very useful in differentiating between severe motor disorders, including a locked-in syndrome, and DoC such as the vegetative state and the minimally conscious state.

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Editor-in-Chief

Frank Cross
Consultant Vascular and General Surgeon
The London Clinic, UK

Editors

Neil Barnes
Consultant Physician
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
Ali Jawad
Professor of Rheumatology
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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