Mesocircuit mechanisms in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of consciousness.

TitleMesocircuit mechanisms in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of consciousness.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSchiff ND
JournalPresse Med
Date Published2022 Dec 20

The 'mesocircuit hypothesis' proposes mechanisms underlying the recovery of consciousness following severe brain injuries. The model builds up from a single premise that multifocal brain injuries resulting in coma and subsequent disorders of consciousness produce widespread neuronal death and dysfunction. Considering the general properties of cortical, thalamic, and striatal neurons, a lawful and specific circuit-level mechanism is constructed based on these known anatomical and physiological specializations of neuronal subtypes. The mesocircuit model generates many testable predictions at the mesocircuit, local circuit, and cellular level across multiple cerebral structures to correlate diagnostic measurements and interpret therapeutic interventions. The anterior forebrain mesocircuit is integrally related to the frontal-parietal network, another network demonstrated to show strong correlation with levels of recovery in disorders of consciousness. A further extension known as the "ABCD" model has been used to examine interaction of these models in recovery of consciousness using electrophysiological data types. Many studies have examined predictions of the mesocircuit model; here we first present the model and review the accumulated evidence for several predictions of model across multiple stages of recovery function in human subjects. Recent studies linking the mesocircuit model, the ABCD model, and interactions with the frontoparietal network are reviewed. Finally, theoretical implications of the mesocircuit model at the neuronal level are considered to interpret recent studies of deep brain stimulation in the central lateral thalamus in patients recovering from coma and in new experimental models in the context of emerging understanding of neuronal and local circuit mechanisms underlying conscious brain states.

Alternate JournalPresse Med
PubMed ID36563999