Department of Clinical Neurophysiology conducts research on electrophysiological methods for prediction of the prognosis in comatose patients. The research is run in collaboration with the intensive care unit of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine. Patients in coma after traumatic brain injuries, intracranial haemorrhages and cardiac arrest are studied.
One of the parameters studied is electroencephalographic (EEG) reactivity, which is defined as a change in the EEG due to outer stimulation, such as pain or sound. EEG reactivity is regarded as a good prognostic sign for awakening in comatose patients. However, documentation is sparse and the method used to evaluate EEG reactivity relies on a qualitative visual assessment of the EEG with inherited possibility for subjective interpretation.
The research focuses on the development of a more objective method using signal analysing for providing a quantitative measure of EEG reactivity. In some of the studies, the results are compared with the results of somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP), which is an electrophysiological method widely used in the clinical routine for prognostication on patients in coma after cardiac arrest.
The development of an objective method to predict the prognosis in comatose patient will be of great value for patients, relatives and therapists (Johnsen B. et al., 2017).


Birger Johnsen, Associate Professor, MD, PhD,