Conjugate eye movements and gamma power modulation of the EEG in persistent vegetative state

Susanne Balazs, Christoph Stepan, Heinrich Binder, Hans von Gizycki, Matt Avitable, Armin Obersteiner, Frank Rattay, Ivan Selesnick, Ivan Bodis-Wollner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Power in the gamma band EEG increases during saccades in normal subjects. Objective: To develop a potential method to quantify signs of cortical responsiveness in persistent vegetative state (PVS) we quantified gamma range EEG in association with conjugate slow ballistic eye movements (SBEM). Methods: The EEG and the simultaneous electro-oculogram were recorded in 14 (8F/6M) PVS patients. Clinical scoring was based on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and Coma Rating Scale (CRS). The Wavelet Transform, followed by Hilbert transform was applied to the EEG and gamma power distribution was quantified relative to the timing of an eye movement. We correlated the clinical and the neurophysiological measures. Results: Gamma activity was present in all PVS patients. Its power was modulated in association with eye movements only in less severely affected patients, with minimum power prior to, and maximum power during the eye movement. In severely affected patients there was no evidence of a temporal relationship between gamma power and the phase of the eye movement. Conclusions: Detecting changes in the time course of gamma power in relation to conjugate ballistic eye movements provides a quantitative neurophysiological method for prospective longitudinal studies to explore if the preservation of this CNS function relates to the potential for recovery in PVS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2006


  • Coma
  • Conjugate eye movements in PVS
  • Gamma and coma
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Persistent vegetative state (PVS)
  • Wavelet transformed EEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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