Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Interplay in Disorders of Consciousness: A Multiple Case Study

Charlène Aubinet, Lesley Murphy, Mohamed A. Bahri, Stephen K. Larroque, Helena Cassol, Jitka Annen, Manon Carrière, Sarah Wannez, Aurore Thibaut, Steven Laureys, Olivia Gosseries
2018 Frontiers in Neurology  
Patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (DoC) after severe brain injury may present residual behavioral and cognitive functions. Yet the bedside assessment of these functions is compromised by patients' multiple impairments. Standardized behavioral scales such as the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) have been developed to diagnose DoC, but there is also a need for neuropsychological measurement in these patients. The Cognitive Assessment by Visual Election (CAVE) was therefore
more » ... ) was therefore recently created. In this study, we describe five patients in minimally conscious state (MCS) or emerging from the MCS (EMCS). Their cognitive profiles, derived from the CRS-R and CAVE, are presented alongside their neuroimaging results using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Scores on the CAVE decreased along with the CRS-R total score, establishing a consistent behavioral/cognitive profile for each patient. Out of these five cases, the one with highest CRS-R and CAVE performance had the least extended cerebral hypometabolism. All patients showed structural and functional brain impairments that were consistent with their behavioral/cognitive profile as based on previous literature. For instance, the presence of visual and motor residual functions was respectively associated with a relative preservation of occipital and motor cortex/cerebellum metabolism. Moreover, residual language comprehension skills were found in the presence of preserved temporal and angular cortex metabolism. Some patients also presented structural impairment of hippocampus, suggesting the presence of memory impairments. Our results suggest that brain-behavior relationships might be observed even in severely brain-injured patients and they highlight the importance of developing new tools to assess residual cognition and language in MCS and EMCS patients. Indeed, a better characterization of their cognitive profile will be helpful in preparation of rehabilitation programs and daily routines.
doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00665 pmid:30154755 fatcat:4voryr6qxrdm3ndwyckmamxpqu