Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Appalic Syndrome

  • Dona LockeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_221


Persistent vegetative state; Unresponsiveness wakefulness syndrome


Apallic syndrome is an older term that was first replaced by persistent vegetative state. More recently, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) is the proposed nomenclature. The syndrome is a clinical condition describing patients who fail to show voluntary motor responsiveness in the presence of eyes-open wakefulness. Patients show reflexive behavior such as spontaneous breathing, but no signs of awareness of the self or the environment. A thorough clinical evaluation may be required to distinguish between UWS and other conditions, including coma, brain death, and locked-in syndrome.


References and Readings

  1. (1994). Medical aspects of the persistent vegetative state-first of two parts. NEJM, 330, 1499–1508.Google Scholar
  2. Multi-society task force on PVS (1994). Medical aspects of the persistent vegetative state-second of two parts. NEJM, 330, 1572–1579.Google Scholar
  3. Laureys, S., Celesia, G. G., Cohadon, F., Lavrijsen, J., et al. (2010). Unresponsive wakefulness syndrome: A new name for the vegetative state or apallic syndrome. BMC Medicine, 8, 68.Google Scholar
  4. van Erp, W., Lavrijsen, J. C. M., van de Laar, F. A, Vos, P . E., Laureys S., Koopmans, R. T. C. M. (2014). The vegetative state/unresponsiveness wakefulness syndrome: A systematic review of prevalence studies. European Journal of Neurology, 21, 1361–1368.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicScottsdaleUSA