Motor attempt EEG paradigm as a diagnostic tool for disorders of consciousness

Christoph Schneider, doctoral assistant @ the Defitech Foundation Chair in Brain-Machine Interface, EPFL

To investigate whether a motor attempt EEG paradigm coupled with functional electrical stimulation can detect command following and, therefore, signs of conscious awareness in patients with disorders of consciousness, we recorded nine patients admitted to acute rehabilitation after brain lesion. We extracted peak classification accuracy and peak average discriminant power (PADP) and we assessed their correlation to the established coma recovery scale revised (CRS-R) and the agreement with diagnosis based on the novel motor behavior tool (MBT). Only PADP correlated significantly with CRS-R and it also outperformed peak accuracy regarding the MBT. We conclude that PADP is more subtle than accuracy to complement CRS-R and MBT in evaluating ambiguous cases and in detecting cognitive motor dissociation.