Disorders of Consciousness Special Interest Group


We have the pleasure to announce the creation of a Special Interest Group (SIG) on Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) within the IBIA!  We encourage participation in the DOC SIG by interested clinicians and researchers.


The mission of the IBIA DOC SIG is to provide an international forum for exchange between brain injury professionals, as well as, neuroscientists on the study, assessment, and care of persons with disorders of consciousness, their families, and the systems serving them.

The vision of the IBIA DOC SIG is to be the premier international networking and information exchange resource for brain injury professionals and neuroscientists working with persons with disorders of consciousness, their families, and the systems serving them.


  1. Create a track at the IBIA World Congress for reporting advances in the field through workshops, symposia, platform, and poster sessions.
  2. Develop and maintain a listserve for IBIA DOC SIG members.
  3. Collaborate with other professional societies, collaboratives, and centers of excellence with interest in DOCs.
  4. Recruit DOC SIG members to facilitate a quarterly submission on a DOC related topic to the International NeuroTrauma Letter.
  5. Educate through dissemination of evidence, white papers, and guidelines on the study, evaluation, and management of persons with DOCs, their families, and the systems serving them either directly through IBIA or through presentation at other relevant meetings (i.e. WCNR, INTS, etc.).
  6. Hold regional meetings of the IBIA DOC SIG in the years between IBIA World Congresses.



  1. Interested persons can join the IBIA DOC SIG for a period of two years without IBIA affiliation, after which membership in IBIA is required for continued participation. 
  2. Only IBIA members will have voting rights.
  3. To join, please contact Dr. Caroline Schnakers, the DOC SIG Chair.  Her contact information is below. 



Treatment Subgroup

  1. Treatment of Disorders of Consciousness – an international comparison Research Project Summary: In this project we want to explore the available rehabilitative and health services across different countries, focusing on the structures, as well as the types of treatment for patients with DOC. 
  2. Light therapy: This multicentric study aims at investigating the effect of light therapy on patients with DOC.
  3. Multicentric study on tDCS: The idea is to evaluate different areas of stimulation in acute and chronic DOC patients, as well as the long term effect of tDCS. 
  4. Guidelines for the treatment of epilepsy: this project aims at discussing and creating guidelines for the treatment of epilepsy in patients with DOC.

Diagnosis/ Prognosis Subgroup

  1. Diagnostic and Prognostic Multicentric Longitudinal Study on Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness. This project aims at identifying the clinical and neurophysiological markers able to distinguish subgroups of VS and MCS patients who can improve from patients with a low probability to recover.
  2. International Survey on Diagnostic and Prognostic Procedures. This survey would like to explore diagnostic protocols and prognostic procedures currently adopted in a neurorehabilitation setting in different countries.
  3. Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness, MATADOC. Two multicentric studies aimed at: 1) validating the MATADOC against the CRS-R, particularly exploring comparable items across similar domains in adult population; 2) elaborating and validating a paediatric version of such music-based diagnostic tool.



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Chair: Caroline Schnakers, PhD

Co-chair: Nathan D. Zasler, MD, FAAPM&R,


For more information, click here! For more information, click here!


To read the DOC SIG Announcement letter, please click here