coma Neurology Physiotherapy

Pathophysiology of Coma

In this article we will discuss the Pathophysiology of Coma

In this article, we will discuss the Pathophysiology of Coma. So, let’s get started.


A normal level of consciousness depends on the activation of the cerebral hemispheres by neurons located in brainstem reticular activating system (RAS). Both these components and the connections between them must be preserved for maintenance of normal consciousness. The principal causes of coma are therefore:

i. Widespread damage to both hemispheres (i.e. disease, ischaemia, trauma),

ii. Depression of cerebral functions by drugs, toxins, hypoxia or metabolic derangements,

iii. Brainstem lesions involving RAS.

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