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Minimally Conscious State vs Persistent Vegetative State: The Case of Terry (Wallis) vs the Case of Terri (Schiavo)

      Miraculous awakening from prolonged coma is in the news again. This time it is the story of Terry Wallis. Newspapers and the blogosphere are covering it extensively, using eye-catching titles: Miracle in Arkansas
      • Brantley M
      Miracle in Arkansas.
      ; Comatose man's brain rewired itself, doctors say. While fibers were severed, nerve cells stayed intact allowing later recovery”
      • Marchione M
      Comatose man's brain rewired itself.
      ; As man lay in coma-like state, his brain was busy rebuilding.”
      • Kaplan K
      As man lay in coma-like state, his brain was busy rebuilding.
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        • Brantley M
        Miracle in Arkansas.
        Arkansas Times. July 3, 2006;
        • Marchione M
        Comatose man's brain rewired itself.
        Baltimore Sun. July 7, 2006;
        • Kaplan K
        As man lay in coma-like state, his brain was busy rebuilding.
        Los Angeles Times. July 4, 2006;
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        Clinical diagnosis of prolonged states of impaired consciousness in adults.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 2005; 80: 1037-1046
        • Jennett B
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        • American Academy of Neurology Quality Standards Subcommittee
        Practice parameters: assessment and management of patients in the persistent vegetative state [summary statement].
        Neurology. 1995; 45: 1015-1018
        • Giacino JT
        The minimally conscious state: defining the borders of consciousness.
        Prog Brain Res. 2005; 150: 381-395
        • Hook CC
        • Mueller PS
        The Terri Schiavo saga: the making of a tragedy and lessons learned.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 2005; 80: 1449-1460
        • Lo B
        • Dornbrand L
        • Wolf LE
        • Groman M
        The Wendland case—with-drawing life support from incompetent patients who are not terminally ill.
        N Engl J Med. 2002; 346: 1489-1493
      1. The man who slept 19 years. Discovery Health Channel, August 9, 2005.

        • Voss HU
        • Uluc AM
        • Dyke JP
        • et al.
        Possible axonal regrowth in late recovery from the minimally conscious state.
        Clin Invest. 2006; 116: 2005-2011
      2. Wijdicks EFM, Wijdicks MF. Coverage of coma in headlines of US newspapers from 2001-2005. Mayo Clin Proc. In press.

        • Carmichael ST
        Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural repair after stroke: making waves.
        Ann Neurol. 2006; 59: 735-742
        • Laureys S
        The neural correlate of (un)awareness: lessons from the vegetative state.
        Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Dec 9; 9 (Epub 2005 Nov 3.): 556-559
        • Schiff ND
        • Rodriguez-Moreno D
        • Kamal A
        • et al.
        fMRI reveals large-scale network activation in minimally conscious patients.
        Neurology. 2005; 64: 514-523