Bedside Detection of Awareness via EEG: Re-analysis

Reanalysis of “Bedside detection of awareness in the vegetative state: a cohort study.”

Andrew M. Goldfine, Jonathan C. Bardin, Quentin Noirhomme, Joseph J. Fins, Nicholas D. Schiff, and Jonathan D. Victor

Lancet 381, 289-291 (2013)


Cruse and colleagues (Lancet 378, 2088-2094, 2011) reported that a new electroencephalography (EEG)-based tool was able to show that 3 out of 16 vegetative state (VS) patients performed a motor imagery task requiring language and short-term memory. This finding, if confirmed, has major implications for diagnosis and care of severely brain-injured patients. We were concerned about the method’s validity because of the difficulty of the task, and its critical reliance on certain statistical assumptions. To allow us to test the validity of the method, Cruse and colleagues graciously supplied their data and analysis software. We show that the patient data do not meet the statistical assumptions made in Cruse et al., likely because of the presence of various artifacts. We then show that when the data are re-analyzed by methods that do not depend on these model assumptions, there is no evidence for task performance in the patients.
This letter and commentary
Preprint and supplementary information
This letter and supplementary information from The Lancet

Response to this letter (Cruse et al. (2013))

Lancet editorial

Additional comments (a detailed response to Cruse et al. (2013))

Commentary in Science
Earlier letter stating general concerns re Cruse et al. (2011), and link to the authors' reply
Original publication (Cruse et al., 2011)
Paper describing method of EEG analysis for identification of command following, based on simple spectral measures
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