Potential applications of concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging in acquired brain injury and disorders of consciousness

Brain Inj. 2014;28(9):1190-6. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2014.920527.


Background: Diagnostic assessment, prognosis and treatment monitoring in patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) rest largely on behaviorally-based procedures. This approach can lead to misdiagnosis, inaccurate outcome prediction and inappropriate judgements regarding the effectiveness of treatment interventions. Concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may provide a biological measure of conscious awareness, aid clinicians in clinical decision-making and provide a treatment alternative for DoC.

Study: This paper reviews the use of TMS and fMRI in the assessment of patients with DoC and suggests potential applications for concurrent use of these procedures.

Keywords: Assessment; functional MRI; minimally conscious state; transcranial magnetic stimulation; vegetative state.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Consciousness Disorders / diagnosis
  • Consciousness Disorders / etiology
  • Consciousness Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation* / methods