Psychogenic Unresponsiveness

This category includes patients who have a diagnosable psychiatric condition, such as catatonia or conversion disorder, and those who are malingering. The differential diagnosis of these conditions is beyond the scope of this chapter, but a few diagnostic points are important in order to raise the physician's suspicion of a psychogenic disorder. These conditions share two characteristics not seen in patients with neurological reasons for coma: First, they have the COR and VOR responses characteristic of awake patients and develop nystagmus and vomiting to cold caloric challenge. Second, their EEGs are not indicative of coma.


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