Mechanisms of Cortical Neural Synchronization Related to Healthy and Impaired Consciousness: Evidence by Quantitative Electroencephalographic Studies

Author(s): Claudio Babiloni, Fabrizio Vecchio, Paola Buffo, Marco Iacoboni, Francesca Pistoia, Simona Sacco, Marco Sara, Paolo Maria Rossini

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 20 , Issue 26 , 2014

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In this paper, we review the contribution of our research group to the study of human consciousness by quantitative electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques. We posit that EEG techniques can be extremely useful for a direct measurement of brain electrophysiological activity related to human consciousness for their unsurpassable high temporal resolution (milliseconds). This activity can be expressed in terms of event-related potentials as well as changes of EEG rhythms of interest, for example the dominant alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz). The results of our studies, and those of several independent groups, lead support to the hypothesis that these techniques provide important insights about the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying cortical neural synchronization/desynchronization and the regulation of neuromodulatory systems (e.g. dopaminergic, noradrenergic, cholinergic, etc.) at the basis of brain arousal and consciousness in healthy subjects and in patients with impairment of the consciousness. A possible interaction of these mechanisms and the drugs administered to patients with consciousness disorders is discussed.

Keywords: Consciousness, electroencephalography (EEG), persistent vegetative state, Alzheimer’s disease.

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Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [4225 - 4238]
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.2174/13816128113196660647
Price: $65

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