Three main aspects of consciousness are considered: a)the clinical steps of differential diagnosis of "disturbance of cosciousness" in the emergency department, in particular between syncopes and epileptic tonic-clonic seizures; b) a brief recall on the neurological concept of "consciousness" and c) some consideration on the impairment of consciousness during epileptic seizures, in particular absences and partial seizures. Consciousness is a theoretical concept and its definition in biological terms is difficult. Since Plum and Posner's studies, consciousness can be defined as the the state of awareness of the self and the environment and coma is its opposite. Five semeiological aspects can be considered in addressing different states of impairment of consciousness: arousal, attention, intention, memory and awareness. In coma, all these functions are absent wherease in other neurological conditions, such as persistent vegetative state or akinetic mutism, the impairment of' only some functions can explain the clinical aspect of the state. The same applies to epileptic seizures during which selective involvement of higher cerebral function determines the different semeiological aspects of seizure features often broadly defined as loss of consciousness.
|Translated title of the contribution||Disturbance of consciousness|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Bollettino - Lega Italiana contro l'Epilessia|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology