Nov 6, 2022
Research shows that about 40% of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) are misdiagnosed: often thought of as unconscious, many are, in fact, either conscious or minimally conscious. Such misdiagnosis severely impairs the treatment and recovery of patients with DOC. However, the field of DOC is rapidly developing. One of the major game-changers for it is neurotechnology.
Meet and greet Dr. Caroline Schnakers - Assistant Director of Research at Casa Colina Hospital in Pomona, California, USA. Dr. Schakers is a world-renown expert in DOC. She redefines this field to offer help and provide hope to patients with DOC and their families. Dr. Schnakers's goal is to support physicians and other clinical personnel involved in the care of patients with DOC so that they can offer their patients the best possible diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.
In this episode of the Neurocareers podcast, Dr. Schnakers illustrates the DOC spectrum with an example from her practice with DOC patients. Dr. Schnakers also discusses the main misconceptions about the DOC, such as "Sleeping beauty," "There is only coma," and others. She provides insights about using neurotechnology to advance the field of DOC. Last but not least, Dr. Schnakers shares important career advice that can be very helpful to those at the crossroads of choosing their scientific career.
During this episode, you will learn the following:
[00:00] Episode intro and what’s in for you in today’s episode.
[01:42] Meet Caroline Schnakers, Ph.D. from Casa Colina Hospital, Pomona, California, USA.
[02:50] The type of work Dr. Schnakers is doing and her shift from diagnosis to treating the disorder of consciousness.
[06:04] What are disorders of consciousness and the clinical difference between a vegetative and conscious state?
[13:38] What inspired Dr. Schnakers into the disorders of consciousness space, and what has helped her to work there for so many years?
[16:24] The most common misconception around disorders of consciousness.
[20:16] Misdiagnosis of the unconscious state and why it isn’t easy to detect signs of consciousness.
[23:02] What helped Dr. Schnakers to be such a good specialist in disorders of consciousness
[26:28] The change that is happening in the field of disorders of consciousness and the involvement of neurotechnology in the process
[34:16] What do we know now about patients with disorders of consciousness that we didn’t know ten years ago?
[16:55] The challenges that are becoming more prominent as the field of disorders of consciousness evolves.
[43:34] The common knowledge and technology gap between experts and clinicians in Europe, the States, and other parts of the world.
[45:18] What was challenging for Dr. Schnakers when doing research and looking for new information in the field?
[48:10] Dr. Schnaker's most unexpected findings throughout her research career of studying patients with disorders of consciousness.
[52:03] Where Dr. Schnakers sees neurotechnology in the next ten years and how it will help clinicians with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of consciousness.
[54:37] Dr. Schnaker’s plans for her research and the work she is doing.
[56:41] Dr. Schnaker recommends how to get into the path of helping people with disorders of consciousness and neurotechnology.
[59:38] Dr. Schnaker's advice on achieving the impossible in neuroscience and disorders of consciousness fields.
[01:01:53] How to reach out and learn more about Dr. Schnakers.
About the Podcast Guest
Caroline Schnakers, PhD
Assistant Director, Research Institute, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare
255 East Bonita Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767
909/596-7733, ext. 3038 • Fax 909/593-0153
IBIA DOC SIG: https://www.internationalbrain.org/membership/groups/disorders-of-consciousness-special-interest-group
Dr. Schnakers's work on Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=schnakers+c&sort=pubdate&sort_order=asc
Dr. Schnakers's Book: https://www.amazon.com/Coma-Disorders-Consciousness-Caroline-Schnakers/dp/3319857916
Curing Coma Campaign: https://www.curingcoma.org/home
About the Podcast and Its Host
The Neurocareers podcast is brought to you by The Institute of Neuroapproaches and its founder - Milena Korostenskaja, Ph.D. (Dr. K) - a neuroscience educator, neuroscience research consultant, and career coach for students and recent graduates in neuroscience and neurotechnologies: https://www.neuroapproaches.org/
Get in touch with Dr. K. by sending an email: email@example.com
Schedule a free neuroscience career consultation session with Dr. K. by following this link: https://neuroapproaches.as.me/