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The vegetative state is often described clinically as loss of function of the cortex while the function of the brainstem is preserved. In an attempt to define the structural basis of the vegetative state we have undertaken a detailed neuropathological study of the brains of 49 patients who remained vegetative until death, 1 month to 8 years after an acute brain insult. Of these, 35 had sustained a blunt head injury and 14 some type of acute non-traumatic brain damage. In the traumatic cases thedoi:10.1093/brain/123.7.1327 pmid:10869046 fatcat:btneyfwo6fbg7ii2mqsek7m2w4