Clinical Neuroscience

[Relationship between default mode network and consciousness]


JANUARY 30, 2014

Clinical Neuroscience - 2014;67(01-02)

[Neural correlation with consciousness represents a main topic of neuroscience studies. New results of consciousness researches proved that based on a coherent function in between its components the default mode network activity is the condition for awake consciousness. The subject of consciousness is self. Tasks related with the self were proving a high default mode network activity. Using connections inside the network, results which were related with self, could be considered to represent a polymodal integration system are they are participating in fine processing of the highly integrated associative information. It could be a result of the convergence of cognitive binding. There is a strong connection between the level of consciousness and praecuneal activation. It was proved that the network activity is changing during sleeping (normal condition), trauma or under drug induced altered consciousness. The default network activity can be considered as the neural correlate of consciousness. Further researches are warranted to answer the question: is the activity of the network the cause or is just accompanying the development of human consciousness?]



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[Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening disease. The incidence of meningitis is about 2.6-6 cases per 100.000 adults per year in developed countries. The most common causative microorganisms are Sreptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis. A 33-year-old multigravida, at 24 week of gestation was admitted to the hospital because of ear pain, haedache, fever and confusion. Lumbal puncture was performed and cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed signs of bacterial meningitis. Latex agglutination test was positive for S. pneumoniae, Gram-positive diplococci have seen under microscope and later cultivation verified S. pneumoniae as the causative agent. After ceftriaxon, dexamethasone administration and treatment in intensive care unit, left side mastoidectomy was performed since cranial computed tomography showed acut exacerbation of chronic mastoiditis on the left side. After extubation, mobilisation and 14 days antibiotic treatment the patient, who had residual hearing loss on the left side, was discharged from the hospital. During the treatment the foetal parameters were normal. The patient at 39 week of gestation gave birth to a healthy infant. Forty-eight case reports have been published in this topic around the world until April, 2012. The most common causative agents were S. pneumoniae and Listeria monocytogenes. Because of the little amount of data, it is hard to appreciate the actual incidence and prognosis of this life-threatening illness both for mother and infant. As far as we know this is the first published case report of meningitis during pregnancy in Hungary. By this article we would like to draw attention to the importance of teamwork, of prevention of brain abscess formation and of the removal of the infection’s focus.]

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Clinical Neuroscience



[The notion of consciousness in the English scientific literature denotes a global ability to consciously perform elementary and intellectual tasks, to reason, plan, judge and retrieve information as well as the awareness of these functions belonging to the self, that is, being self-aware. consciouness can also be defined as continuous awareness of the external and internal environment, of the past and the present. The meaning of consciouness is different in various languages, but it invariably includes, the conscious person is capable to learn, retrieve and use information. Disturbance or loss of consciouness in the Hungarian medical language indicates decreased alertness or arousability rather than the impairment of the complex mental ability. Awareness denotes the spiritual process of perception and analysis of stimuli from the inner and external world. Alertness is a prerequisite of awareness. Clinical observations suggest that the lesions of specific structures of the brain may lead to specific malfunction of consciouness, therefore, consciouness must be the product of neural activity. “Higher functions” of human mental ability have been ascribed to the prefrontal and parietal association cortices. The paleocerebrum, limbic system and their connections have been considered to be the center of emotions, feelings, attention, motivation and autonomic functions. Recent evidence indicates that these phylogenetically ancient structures play an important role in the processes of acquiring, storing and retrieving information. The hippocampus has a key role in regulating memory, learning, emotion and motivation. Impaired consciouness in the neurological practice is classified based on tests for conscious behavior and by analyzing the following responses: 1. elementary reactions to sensory stimuli - these are impaired in hypnoid unconsciousness, 2. intellectual reactions to cognitive stimuli - these indicate the impairment of cognitive contents in nonhypnoid unconsciousness. Obviously, disturbance of elementary reactions related to alertness and disturbance of intellectual performance overlap. In conditions with reduced ability to react to or to perceive external stimuli the cognitive disturbance of consciouness cannot fully be explored.]

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