Brain activation by music in patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state following diffuse brain injury.

Author: Okumura Y1, Asano Y, Takenaka S, Fukuyama S, Yonezawa S, Kasuya Y, Shinoda J.
1Department of Clinical Brain Sciences, Chubu Medical Center for Prolonged Traumatic Brain Dysfunction, Kizawa Memorial Hospital, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine , Minokamo, Gifu , Japan.
Conference/Journal: Brain Inj.
Date published: 2014 Mar 21
Other: Word Count: 201

Abstract Objective: The aim of this study was to objectively evaluate the brain activity potential of patients with impaired consciousness in a chronic stage of diffuse brain injury (DBI) using functional MRI (fMRI) following music stimulation (MS). Methods: Two patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) and five patients in a vegetative state (VS) due to severe DBI were enrolled along with 21 healthy adults. This study examined the brain regions activated by music and assessed topographical differences of the MS-activated brain among healthy adults and these patients. Results: MS was shown to activate the bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG) of both healthy adults and patients in an MCS. In four of five patients in a VS, however, no significant activation in STG could be induced by the same MS. The remaining patient in a VS displayed the same MS-induced brain activation in STG as healthy adults and patients in an MCS and this patient's status also improved to an MCS 4 months after the study. Conclusions: The presence of STG activation by MS may predict a possible improvement of patients in a VS to MCS and fMRI employing MS may be a useful modality to objectively evaluate consciousness in these patients.
PMID: 24655034