State in which a patient, though technically alive, has only rudimentary brain functioning. (634)
A state following very severe injury in which patients remain speechless and devoid of any meaningful contact with others. Patients show sleep/wake cycles but no evidence of conscious awareness. The condition is due to very extensive damage to the fibres under the cerebral cortex. PVS should be distinguished from the LOCKED IN STATE (qv).
a state in which the cerebral cortex - the thinking, feeling part of the brain - stops working. People in this condition cannot understand anything that is going on around them and cannot communicate or make voluntary movements. However, the more primitive part of their brain - the brain stem - is largely unaffected.