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The Curing Coma Campaign

By Currents Editor posted 01-16-2020 09:48


By Shraddha Mainali, MD; Sherry H-Y Chou, MD, MSc; Molly Mcnett, PhD, RN, CNRN; Jennifer Kim, MD, PhD

Acknowledgements: Claude Hemphill, MD, MAS; Daiwai Olson, PhD, RN; Paul Vespa, MD; Javier Provencio, MD 

In 2018, a panel of multidisciplinary experts gathered at the NCS Blue Ocean Strategy meeting and set forth a grand challenge for the society: to Cure Coma.  

Since then, the Neurocritical Care Research Central (NCRC) and related subcommittees have worked diligently to identify and solicit expert opinions, define important knowledge gaps, and embarked upon this ardent journey to improve the standards of care in patients with acute disorders of consciousness. To this effect, the Curing Coma Campaign was officially announced at the 17th NCS Annual Meeting in Vancouver in October 2019. It has since received a highly favorable response from the NCS membership worldwide. 

The NCS research core (NCRC, Neurocritical Care Research Network (NCRN) and the Research Operations Subcommittee) has fervently started building the foundation and paving the path to accomplish this colossal mission and is actively seeking participation from all interested members to help the society in this all-encompassing mission. A survey was sent out to the entire NCS membership on November 19, 2019, requesting information regarding expertise and interest in involvement (note that this survey is now closed). 

The NCS research core recognizes the importance of developing and maintaining collaborations across all domains of science, education and advocacy to accomplish this important mission. Therefore, the Curing Coma Campaign is envisioned to be a dynamic, multidimensional operation that includes simultaneous engagement of diverse workgroups in various aspects of scientific discovery, implementation, education and advocacy that are critical in advancing care of patients with acute disorders of consciousness. To realize this vision, the NCRN has commenced the work of creating the Curing Coma Community. This community is intended to be broad and all embracing to incorporate the energy, expertise and opinions of passionate interdisciplinary members of the society. 

To achieve this objective, the NCRN has developed eight preliminary modules that are in alignment with the scientific agenda. Additionally, the NCRN has developed a Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) to provide insight and scientific direction for the Curing Coma Campaign. 

  1. Prospective Database
  2. Implementation Science
  3. Member Sites
  4. Community of Collaborators
  5. Investigator Toolkit
  6. Coma Data Science
  7. Expert Liaison
  8. Engagement 

The NCS research core is actively building these modules and identifying leaders and members for each module to ensure successful execution. Co-leaders for three of the modules have been determined so far: 1) Member Sites: Chethan Rao and Briana Witherspoon; 2) Engagement: Theresa Human and Stephan Mayer; and 3) Community of Collaborators: Sara Hocker and Neha Dangayach. 

In November 2019, the NCS research leadership team was notified that the National Institute of Health has graciously offered to host a Curing Coma scientific meeting in Bethesda, MD, in September 2020. The NCS Curing Coma Campaign website is forthcoming where additional details will be made available. 

Participation from all interested members of the society is highly encouraged to develop and impel this unique mission. Given the extensive and all-inclusive nature of this operation, effective communication is a required skill in all the participants, including proficiency in emails, social media, websites, webinars, and other types of regular and ad hoc interactions and informal discussions. Interested members can email for further information about opportunities for involvement.  

As we all embark on this long-term overarching goal as a team, it is important to recognize that the execution of this inaugural mission is a dynamic process with necessary adaptations and adjustments made along the way to meet the needs of the stakeholders, scientific community, evolving technologies and novel discoveries. Let us all come together and join hands in this crucial mission to help cure coma!


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