Disorders of consciousness (DOC), i.e., coma, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, and minimally conscious state are the consequences of a severe brain injury that disrupts the brain ability to generate consciousness. Despite several recent advances, our knowledge about the pathophysiological mechanisms subtending different DOC is still incomplete. Moreover, the diagnosis between different DOC is mainly based on behavioral assessment, with the risk of delaying the recognition of consciousness’ improvements in patients with severe motor impairment. Finally, the impact of the current therapeutic approaches on consciousness recovery is still very limited. This special issue of the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience aims to cover a broad range of topics in the field of DOC and deals, but it is not limited, with (1) neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies allowing advances in knowledge of DOC pathophysiology; (2) studies designed to refine the differential diagnosis between different DOC or to make more accurate prognoses; (3) studies aiming to set up innovative therapies and rehabilitative strategies for patients with DOC, both in the acute and post-acute phases. Original research and review papers will be welcomed.
Dr. Sergio Bagnato
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