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 topics within this sub-specialty include focused clinical examination of consciousness using validated diagnostic scales (see our dedicated "Scales and Scores" page), electrophysiology (EEG, MEG), structural and functional neuroimaging (FDG-PET, MRI, fNIRS), indicators of prognosis, management of pain and spasticity, therapies to improve recovery, or neuroethics. The inclusion of caregivers in therapeutic decisions and research protocols is also a key aspect of this field. This sub-specialty involves interdisciplinary expertise from neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, neuroscientists and engineers, as well as neuroethicians and philosophers.

This subspecialty is focused on the diagnosis and management of patients in coma or suffering from disorders of consciousness, including minimally conscious state and unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (also called vegetative state). Acquired brain injuries from different etiologies can lead to impaired consciousness, including traumatic brain injury, hypoxic/anoxic lesions, cardiac arrest, intracranial hemorrhage or metabolic disorders. The last two decades have seen major advances in diagnostic techniques to evaluate signs of consciousness more accurately, with an important role of neurophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Therapeutic options to improve recovery of consciousness are being actively investigated and translated to the bedside with promising results.


About the EAN Scientific Panel Coma and Disorder of Consciousness

The Coma and Disorder of Consciousness Scientific Panel actively promotes and supports initiatives related to the care of brain-injured patients 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 aimed at clinicians.

All EAN members with an interest for these questions, including RRFS members, are welcome to join the Scientific Panel and contribute to its activity. Panel members are strongly encouraged to engage in the activities promoted by the panel, contribute to the elaboration of e-learning material for the EAN Campus and share the latest advances in the field via Neurology Updates on the EAN website.

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

Management Group

Estraneo, Anna


Estraneo, Anna
Lejeune, Nicolas

Panel Member (Individual)

Lejeune, Nicolas
Liège, Belgium
Leonardi, Matilde

Panel Member (Institution)

Leonardi, Matilde
Milan, Italy
Sanz, Leandro

RRFS Member

Sanz, Leandro
Lausanne, Switzerland
Yatsko, Kseniia

RRFS Representative

Yatsko, Kseniia
Moscow, Russian Federation

Individual panel members

Bender, Andreas
Bender, Andreas
Burgau, Germany
Boon, Paul A.j.m.
Boon, Paul A.j.m.
Gent, Belgium
Comanducci, Angela
Comanducci, Angela
Milano, Italy
Dimitriadis, Konstantinos
Dimitriadis, Konstantinos
Munich, Germany
Estraneo, Anna
Estraneo, Anna
Gosseries, Olivia
Gosseries, Olivia
Liege, Belgium
Guisado-Alonso, Daniel
Guisado-Alonso, Daniel
Barcelona, Spain
Hakiki, Bahia
Hakiki, Bahia
Jodaitis, Lise
Jodaitis, Lise
Brussels, Belgium
Kondratyeva, Ekaterina
Kondratyeva, Ekaterina
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Lejeune, Nicolas
Lejeune, Nicolas
Liège, Belgium
Lo Re, Vincenzina
Lo Re, Vincenzina
Palermo, Italy
Magliacano, Alfonso
Magliacano, Alfonso
Napoli, Italy
Mankovskyi, Dmytro
Mankovskyi, Dmytro
Kiev, Ukraine
Mosa, Ahmed
Mosa, Ahmed
Mansoura, Egypt
Pfausler, Bettina
Pfausler, Bettina
Innsbruck, Austria
Schmutzhard, Erich
Schmutzhard, Erich
Innsbruck, Austria
Struhal, Walter
Struhal, Walter
Tulln, Austria
Thibaut, Aurore
Thibaut, Aurore
Liège, Belgium

RRFS Member

Acampora, Roberto
Acampora, Roberto
Caserta, Italy
Aubinet, Charlène
Aubinet, Charlène
Liège, Belgium
Chertic, Gabriela-Diana
Chertic, Gabriela-Diana
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Filip, Rafaela Ruxandra
Filip, Rafaela Ruxandra
Brasov, Romania
Fiume, Giulia
Fiume, Giulia
Messina, Italy
Fontanelli, Lorenzo
Fontanelli, Lorenzo
Capannoli, Italy
Malikova, Shahla
Malikova, Shahla
Baku, Azerbaijan
Misirocchi, Francesco
Misirocchi, Francesco
Parma, Italy
Montellano, Felipe A.
Montellano, Felipe A.
Würzburg, Germany
Moro, Meryem
Moro, Meryem
Marrakesh, Morocco
Saghir, Khadija
Saghir, Khadija
AGADIR, Morocco
Sanz, Leandro
Sanz, Leandro
Lausanne, Switzerland
Szymkowicz, Emilie
Szymkowicz, Emilie
Liege, Belgium
Tinti, Lorenzo
Tinti, Lorenzo
Pavia, Italy
Vitello, Marie
Vitello, Marie
Liege, Belgium

Student Member

Elijah Oluwasegun Ayoigbala, Adetunji
Elijah Oluwasegun Ayoigbala, Adetunji
Kharkov, Ukraine
Jelmoni, Alice
Jelmoni, Alice
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Slemensek Avsic, Sara
Slemensek Avsic, Sara
Maribor, Slovenia
Žel, Alia
Žel, Alia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Partner Society Representatives

Forsyth, Rob

EPNS representative

Forsyth, Rob
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Institutional panel members

Alenikova, Olga A.
Alenikova, Olga A.
Minsk, Belarus
Angın Mengi, Tuğçe
Angın Mengi, Tuğçe
İzmir, Turkey
Beer, Ronny
Beer, Ronny
Innsbruck, Austria
Bender, Andreas
Bender, Andreas
Burgau, Germany
Blazevic, Nikola
Blazevic, Nikola
Zagreb, Croatia
Bråthen, Geir
Bråthen, Geir
Trondheim, Norway
Chondrogianni, Maria
Chondrogianni, Maria
Athens, Greece
Dabala, Victor
Dabala, Victor
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Di Santo, Alessandro
Di Santo, Alessandro
Naples, Italy
Diserens, Karin
Diserens, Karin
Lausanne, Switzerland
Ene, Amalia
Ene, Amalia
Bucharest, Romania
Falcão, Filipa
Falcão, Filipa
Lisboa, Portugal
Fulesdi, Béla
Fulesdi, Béla
Gavriliuc, Mihail
Gavriliuc, Mihail
Chisinau, Moldova
Gelziniene, Giedre
Gelziniene, Giedre
Kaunas, Lithuania
Giannopoulos, Sotirios
Giannopoulos, Sotirios
Athens, Greece
Holeckova, Irena
Holeckova, Irena
Plzen, Czech Republic
Kunz, Alexander
Kunz, Alexander
Salzburg, Austria
Leonardi, Matilde
Leonardi, Matilde
Milan, Italy
Lindelof, Mette
Lindelof, Mette
Roskilde, Denmark
Machado, Rita
Machado, Rita
Coimbra, Portugal
Mcelligott, Jacinta
Mcelligott, Jacinta
Co. Dublin, Ireland
Milanova, Milena
Milanova, Milena
Sofia, Bulgaria
Naccache, Lionel
Naccache, Lionel
Paris, France
Noe Sebastian, Enrique
Noe Sebastian, Enrique
Valencia, Spain
Odainic, Olesea
Odainic, Olesea
Chisinau, Moldova
Ozturk, Serefnur
Ozturk, Serefnur
Konya, Turkey
Pincherle, Alessandro
Pincherle, Alessandro
Polunosika, Elina
Polunosika, Elina
Riga, Latvia
Pucite, Elina
Pucite, Elina
Rīga, Latvia
Stefanović Budimkić, Maja
Stefanović Budimkić, Maja
Belgrade, Serbia
Stender, Johan
Stender, Johan
København V, Denmark
Strbian, Daniel
Strbian, Daniel
Helsinki, Finland
Volosovets, Anton
Volosovets, Anton
Kyiv, Ukraine
Voznyuk, Igor
Voznyuk, Igor
Sankt-Petersburg, Russian Federation
Zivkovic, Miroslava
Zivkovic, Miroslava
Nis, Serbia