Persistent vegetative state

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In medicine and neurology, "vegetative state refers to the neurocognitive status of individuals with severe brain damage, in whom physiologic functions (sleep-wake cycles, autonomic control, and breathing) persist, but awareness (including all cognitive function and emotion) is abolished."[1]

Unlike in coma, the eyes may be open in the vegetative state.[2]

Rare patients may be able to communicate.[3]


  1. Anonymous (2021), Persistent vegetative state (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Ropper AH (2010). "Cogito ergo sum by MRI.". N Engl J Med 362 (7): 648-9. DOI:10.1056/NEJMe0909667. PMID 20130248. Research Blogging.
  3. Monti MM, Vanhaudenhuyse A, Coleman MR, Boly M, Pickard JD, Tshibanda L et al. (2010). "Willful modulation of brain activity in disorders of consciousness.". N Engl J Med 362 (7): 579-89. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa0905370. PMID 20130250. Research Blogging.