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A Dual Mind Approach to Understanding the Conscious Self and Its Treatment
Review

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries with Electroceuticals: Implications for the Neuroanatomy of Consciousness

1
Department of Pharmacology, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA
2
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: James Sonne
NeuroSci 2021, 2(3), 254-265; https://doi.org/10.3390/neurosci2030018
Received: 30 June 2021 / Revised: 22 July 2021 / Accepted: 24 July 2021 / Published: 27 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroanatomy of Consciousness and the Will)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of loss of consciousness, long-term disability, and death in children and young adults (age 1 to 44). Currently, there are no United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pharmacological treatments for post-TBI regeneration and recovery, particularly related to permanent disability and level of consciousness. In some cases, long-term disorders of consciousness (DoC) exist, including the vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS) characterized by the exhibition of reflexive behaviors only or a minimally conscious state (MCS) with few purposeful movements and reflexive behaviors. Electroceuticals, including non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and deep brain stimulation (DBS) have proved efficacious in some patients with TBI and DoC. In this review, we examine how electroceuticals have improved our understanding of the neuroanatomy of consciousness. However, the level of improvements in general arousal or basic bodily and visual pursuit that constitute clinically meaningful recovery on the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) remain undefined. Nevertheless, these advancements demonstrate the importance of the vagal nerve, thalamus, reticular activating system, and cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical loop in the process of consciousness recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: traumatic brain injury; disorders of consciousness; vegetative state; unresponsive wakefulness syndrome; minimally conscious state; non-invasive brain stimulation; vagus nerve stimulation; deep brain stimulation; Coma Recovery Scale-Revised traumatic brain injury; disorders of consciousness; vegetative state; unresponsive wakefulness syndrome; minimally conscious state; non-invasive brain stimulation; vagus nerve stimulation; deep brain stimulation; Coma Recovery Scale-Revised
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aburas, J.; Aziz, A.; Butt, M.; Leschinsky, A.; Pierce, M.L. Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries with Electroceuticals: Implications for the Neuroanatomy of Consciousness. NeuroSci 2021, 2, 254-265. https://doi.org/10.3390/neurosci2030018

AMA Style

Aburas J, Aziz A, Butt M, Leschinsky A, Pierce ML. Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries with Electroceuticals: Implications for the Neuroanatomy of Consciousness. NeuroSci. 2021; 2(3):254-265. https://doi.org/10.3390/neurosci2030018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aburas, Jihad, Areej Aziz, Maryam Butt, Angela Leschinsky, and Marsha L. Pierce 2021. "Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries with Electroceuticals: Implications for the Neuroanatomy of Consciousness" NeuroSci 2, no. 3: 254-265. https://doi.org/10.3390/neurosci2030018

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