Coma and chronic disorders of consciousness

General information about sub-specialty

This subspecialty concerns the diagnosis and management of patients in coma or who have another disorder of consciousness, including minimal conscious states and the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (formerly known as vegetative state). There are many reasons for people entering a state of disordered consciousness, notably traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries and acute and chronic conditions. Of note, within the past 10-20 years it has become clear that many people who seem clinically unresponsive actually are awake and aware when investigated using advanced neuroimaging and EEG paradigms, a condition termed cognitive motor dissociation.

Key clinical and research areas within this research field include clinical examinations using validated rating scales such as the Coma Recovery Scale revised, functional neuroimaging including functional MRI and PET, as well as electroencephalography (EEG). Investigation of disrupted brain networks underlying impaired consciousness is key to gain a better understanding of why consciousness is lost and what it takes to recover it. At least as important to patient care is a variety of related topics including quality of life, rehabilitation and caregiver management.

About the EAN Scientific Panel Coma and Disorder of Consciousness

The Coma and Disorder of Consciousness SP actively promotes and supports brain injury-related issues as well as educational and scientific activities within the framework of EAN.

The panel substantially contributes to the Scientific Programme at EAN congresses and other EAN educational activities and develops clinical guidelines, notably a recent guideline of the diagnosis of coma and other disorders of consciousness.

Group members, including the RRFS members, are strongly encouraged to engage in the activities promoted by the panel and to contribute to the sharing of advances in the field of coma and disorders of consciousness via the Breaking News and Neurology Update sections of the EAN website, and to engage in the activities promoted by the panel.

The panel meets during the EAN congress and has several ongoing working groups.

European Academy of Neurology guideline on the diagnosis of coma and other disorders of consciousness

Kondziella D, Bender A, Diserens K, van Erp W, Estraneo A, Formisano R, Laureys S, Naccache L, Ozturk S, Rohaut B, Sitt JD, Stender J, Tiainen M, Rossetti AO, Gosseries O, Chatelle C; EAN Panel on Coma, Disorders of Consciousness. European Journal of Neurology. 2020. 27:741-756.

Management Group

Formisano, Rita


Formisano, Rita (MD, Dr.)
Rome, Italy
Kondziella, Daniel


Kondziella, Daniel (MD, PhD, FEBN)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Diserens, Karin

Management Group Member

Diserens, Karin (MD, Prof)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Lackner, Peter

Management Group Member

Lackner, Peter (MD)
Vienna, Austria
Rohaut, Benjamin

Management Group Member

Rohaut, Benjamin (MD PhD)
Paris, France
Sanz, Leandro R. D.

RRFS Representative

Sanz, Leandro R. D. (MD)
Liège, Belgium

Individual panel members

Bender, Andreas
Bender, Andreas (MD, Prof)
Burgau, Germany
Bernat, James
Bernat, James (MD)
Lebanon, United States
Boon, Paul A.J.M.
Boon, Paul A.J.M. (MD,PhD,Prof, FEAN)
Gent, Belgium
Estraneo, Anna
Estraneo, Anna (MD)
Gosseries, Olivia
Gosseries, Olivia
Liege, Belgium
Kondratyeva, Ekaterina
Kondratyeva, Ekaterina (MD PhD Assistant professor)
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Laureys, Steven
Laureys, Steven (MD, PhD, Prof, FEAN)
liège, Belgium
Lo Re, Vincenzina
Lo Re, Vincenzina (Dr)
Palermo, Italy
Pfausler, Bettina
Pfausler, Bettina (MD, Ass. Prof)
Innsbruck, Austria
Rossetti, Andrea
Rossetti, Andrea (MD)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Schmutzhard, Erich
Schmutzhard, Erich (MD, Prof)
Innsbruck, Austria
Stender, Johan
Stender, Johan
København V, Denmark
Struhal, Walter
Struhal, Walter (MD, Prof, FEAN)
Tulln, Austria
van Erp, Willemijn
van Erp, Willemijn (MD, PhD)
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

RRFS Member

De Sousa, Ary
De Sousa, Ary (Dr.)
Lisboa, Portugal
Lejeune, Nicolas
Ottignies, Belgium

Partner Society Representatives

Forsyth, Rob

EPNS representative

Forsyth, Rob (PhD FRCPCH MRCP DCH MA(Cantab) BM BCh)
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Institutional panel members

Andrykiewicz, Agnieszka
Andrykiewicz, Agnieszka (Dr. med.)
Basel, Switzerland
Beer, Ronny
Beer, Ronny (MD, Associate Professor)
Innsbruck, Austria
Blazevic, Nikola
Blazevic, Nikola (M.D.)
Zagreb, Croatia
Budišić, Mislav
Budišić, Mislav (MD)
Zagreb, Croatia
Di Santo, Alessandro
Di Santo, Alessandro
Roma, Italy
Ene, Amalia
Ene, Amalia (MD)
Bucharest, Romania
Erbguth, Frank Joachim
Erbguth, Frank Joachim (MD Prof. Dipl.-Psych, FEAN)
Nürnberg, Germany
Falcão, Filipa (MD)
Lisboa, Portugal
Fekete, Istvan
Fekete, Istvan (MD Prof)
Debrecen, Hungary
Gavriliuc, Mihail
Gavriliuc, Mihail (MD, Prof)
Chisinau, Moldova
Gelziniene, Giedre (MD, PhD)
Kaunas, Lithuania
Havlíček, Roman
Havlíček, Roman (MD)
Praha 6, Czech Republic
Iliopoulos, Ioannis
Iliopoulos, Ioannis (MD)
Ioannidis, Panagiotis
Ioannidis, Panagiotis (MD)
Thessaloniki, Greece
Jovanovic, Dejana
Jovanovic, Dejana (MD, PhD)
Belgrade, Serbia
Leonardi, Matilde
Leonardi, Matilde (MD)
Milan, Italy
Liakina, Tatjana
Vilnius, Lithuania
Lindelof, Mette
Lindelof, Mette (MD)
Roskilde, Denmark
Lowman, Andrea
Lowman, Andrea (MD)
Cardiff, United Kingdom
McElligott, Jacinta
McElligott, Jacinta (MD)
Co. Dublin, Ireland
Milanova, Milena
Milanova, Milena (MD, Prof)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Naccache, Lionel
Naccache, Lionel (MD)
Paris, France
Noe Sebastian, Enrique
Noe Sebastian, Enrique (MD PhD)
Valencia, Spain
Ozturk, Serefnur
Ozturk, Serefnur (MD, Prof)
Konya, Turkey
Pincherle, Alessandro
Pincherle, Alessandro (MD)
Polunosika, Elina
Polunosika, Elina (Dr.)
Riga, Latvia
Pucite, Elina
Pucite, Elina
Rīga, Latvia
Stefanović Budimkić, Maja
Stefanović Budimkić, Maja (MD PhD)
Belgrade, Serbia
Stender, Johan
Stender, Johan
København V, Denmark
Voznyuk, Igor (prof)
Sankt-Petersburg, Russian Federation
Zivkovic, Miroslava
Zivkovic, Miroslava (MD,PhD)
Nis, Serbia