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Abstract #1889

System imbalance of activated external awareness yet deactivated internal awareness in the vegetative state detected by resting state fMRI

Jianghong He 1 , Yi Zhang 1,2 , Zhenyu Zhou 3 , Ruxiang Xu 1 , and Yijun Liu 4

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Army General Hospital, Beijing 100700, China, 2 School of Life Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi'an, Shanxi 710071, China, 3 GE Healthcare, Beijing 100176, China, 4 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

People's Republic of In disorders of consciousness (DOC), the vegetative state (VS) represents a unique mental status distinct from coma and the minimally conscious state. Functional MRI (fMRI) reveals that awareness can be reduced to two coexistent networks--- the external and internal awareness, and that the two components are anti-correlates. According to this framework, the present study hypothesizes that there is imbalance between the external and internal awareness in VS. Our study provides evidence that VS in DOC patients is likely related to the imbalance between the external and internal awareness systems as well as the DMN. The hyperactivaion of external awareness system and the hypoactive internal awareness and DMN exhibit a key pattern of brain activity in the unique mental states of VS, which may be further characterized as prognostic markers of VS and DOC.

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