Technology-based assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness



Introduction. A number of studies highlight the difficulty in forming a diagnosis for patients  with disorders of consciousness when this is established merely on behavioral assessments. 
Background. Positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and electroencephalography combined  with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS-EEG) techniques are promoting the clinical characterization of this challenging population. With such technology-based “objective” tools, patients are also differentially able to follow simple commands and in some  cases even communicate through modified brain activity. Consequently, the vegetative  state and minimally conscious state have been revised and new nosologies have been proposed, namely the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, the minimally conscious state  plus and minus, and the functional locked-in syndrome.
Aim. To our mind, an integration of different technical modalities is important to gain a  holistic vision of the underlying pathophysiology of disorders of consciousness in general  and to promote single-patient medical management in particular.

Share on



Carol Di Perri

Lizette Heine

Enrico Amico

Andrea Soddu

Steven Laureys

Athena Demertzi

How to Cite
Di Perri, C., Heine, L., Amico, E., Soddu, A., Laureys, S., & Demertzi, A. (2014). Technology-based assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 50(3), 209–220. Retrieved from
  • Abstract viewed - 294 times