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

Estraneo, Anna


Estraneo, Anna (MD)
Kondziella, Daniel


Kondziella, Daniel (MD, PhD, FEBN)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Lejeune, Nicolas

Management Group Member

Lejeune, Nicolas
Liège, Belgium
Sanz, Leandro R. D.

RRFS Representative

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

Management Group Member

Stender, Johan
København V, Denmark

Individual panel members

Bender, Andreas
Bender, Andreas (MD, Prof)
Burgau, Germany
Boon, Paul A.J.M.
Boon, Paul A.J.M. (MD,PhD,Prof, FEAN)
Gent, Belgium
Comanducci, Angela
Comanducci, Angela
Milano, Italy
Formisano, Rita
Formisano, Rita (MD, Dr.)
Rome, Italy
Gaspard, Nicolas
Gaspard, Nicolas (Professor of Neurology)
Brussels, Belgium
Gosseries, Olivia
Gosseries, Olivia
Liege, Belgium
Kondratyeva, Ekaterina
Kondratyeva, Ekaterina (MD PhD professor)
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Lo Re, Vincenzina
Lo Re, Vincenzina (MD)
Palermo, Italy
Magliacano, Alfonso
Magliacano, Alfonso
Napoli, 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
Struhal, Walter
Struhal, Walter (MD, Prof, FEAN)
Tulln, Austria

RRFS Member

Chertic, Gabriela-Diana (MD)
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Filip, Rafaela Ruxandra (Resident)
Brasov, Romania
Fontanelli, Lorenzo (MD)
Capannoli, Italy
Moro, Meryem
Marrakesh, Morocco
Szymkowicz, Emilie
Szymkowicz, Emilie (PhD Student)
Liege, Belgium
Villa, Davide
Villa, Davide (MD)
Milan, Italy
Vitello, Marie
Vitello, Marie (MSc)
Liege, 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

Alenikova, Olga A.
Alenikova, Olga A. (MD)
Minsk, Belarus
Angın Mengi, Tuğçe
Angın Mengi, Tuğçe
İzmir, Turkey
Beer, Ronny
Beer, Ronny (MD, Associate Professor)
Innsbruck, Austria
Bender, Andreas
Bender, Andreas (MD, Prof)
Burgau, Germany
Blazevic, Nikola
Blazevic, Nikola (M.D.)
Zagreb, Croatia
Bråthen, Geir
Bråthen, Geir (MD, Associate Professor, FEAN)
Trondheim, Norway
Chondrogianni, Maria
Chondrogianni, Maria (MD)
Athens, Greece
Dabala, Victor (Resident)
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Di Santo, Alessandro
Di Santo, Alessandro
Roma, Italy
Diserens, Karin
Diserens, Karin (MD, Prof)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Ene, Amalia
Ene, Amalia (MD)
Bucharest, Romania
Falcão, Filipa (MD)
Lisboa, Portugal
Fulesdi, Béla
Fulesdi, Béla (MD, Prof)
Gavriliuc, Mihail
Gavriliuc, Mihail (MD, Prof)
Chisinau, Moldova
Gelziniene, Giedre (MD, PhD)
Kaunas, Lithuania
Giannopoulos, Sotirios
Giannopoulos, Sotirios (Prof.)
Athens, Greece
Holečková, Irena
Holečková, Irena
Plzen, Czech Republic
Kunz, Alexander
Kunz, Alexander (MD)
Berlin, Germany
Leonardi, Matilde
Leonardi, Matilde (MD)
Milan, Italy
Lindelof, Mette
Lindelof, Mette (MD)
Roskilde, Denmark
Machado, Rita
Machado, Rita
Coimbra, Portugal
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
Odainic, Olesea
Odainic, Olesea (MD)
Chisinau, Moldova
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
Strbian, Daniel
Strbian, Daniel
Espoo, Finland
Volosovets, Anton
Volosovets, Anton (PhD, Professor)
Kyiv, Ukraine
Voznyuk, Igor (prof)
Sankt-Petersburg, Russian Federation
Zivkovic, Miroslava
Zivkovic, Miroslava (MD,PhD)
Nis, Serbia