A Trip Back to LifeWednesday, 20 September, 2023 12:00 pm
In this virtual event, BrainStorm Neuroscience Pitch Competition™ 2022 awardee Paolo Cardone (University of Liege) shares his Mind Science-funded research conducted in the Coma Science Group, where Mr. Cardone's graduate program is based.
Post-comatose disorders of consciousness (DoC) are one of the most challenging neurological conditions that modern medicine faces. DoC includes the vegetative state (recently renamed unresponsive wakefulness syndrome) and is characterized by an impaired awareness of the world that can persist for up to several years and, in the most severe cases, lead to end-of-life decisions. In this talk, we will explore what is DoC, and how it is linked to decreased brain complexity. Additionally, we will present the idea of using psychedelics (i.e., ketamine and psilocybin) to increase brain complexity and possibly ameliorate their conscious state. We will discuss the preliminary results of using psychedelics to treat DoC, along with the scientific, clinical, and ethical challenges of such trials.
Paolo is a PhD student in Medical Sciences (Coma Science Group, University of Liège, Belgium), and holds a Master of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience (CIMeC, University of Trento, Italy). Paolo's research focuses on the link between brain complexity and consciousness, and how it translated into treatments for people with post-comatose disorders of consciousness (DoC). To this aim, Paolo uses non-invasive brain stimulation and psychedelics.