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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 473-480

Connecting the P300 to the diagnosis and prognosis of unconscious patients

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Wei-qun Song
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing
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Source of Support: This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81371194., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.153699

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The residual consciousness of unconscious patients can be detected by studying the P300, a wave among event-related potentials. Previous studies have applied tones, the subject's name and other names as stimuli. However, the results were not satisfactory. In this study, we changed the constituent order of subjects' two-character names to create derived names. The subject's derived names, together with tones and their own names, were used as auditory stimuli in event-related potential experiments. Healthy controls and unconscious patients were included in this study and made to listen to these auditory stimuli. In the two paradigms, a sine tone followed by the subject's own name and the subject's derived name followed by the subject's own name were used as standard and deviant stimuli, respectively. The results showed that all healthy controls had the P300 using both paradigms, and that the P300 in the second paradigm had a longer latency and two peaks. All minimally conscious state patients had the P300 in the first paradigm and the majority of them had the P300 in the second paradigm. Most vegetative state patients had no P300. Patients who showed the P300 in the two paradigms had more residual consciousness, and patients with the two-peak P300 had a higher probability of awakening within a short time. Our experimental findings suggest that the P300 event-related potential could reflect the conscious state of unconscious patients.

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