Intensive Neurowave Emotional Stimulation (INES) (INES_ABI)


IRCCS Centro Neurolesi "Bonino-Pulejo"




Disorders of Consciousness


Device: Intensive Neurowave Emotional Stimulation (INES)
Other: Intensive Sensorial Emotional Stimulation (ISES)

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This is a randomized and controlled pilot study investigating the effects of intensive emotional stimulation with neurological waves (INES) on cognitive-motor functions in patients diagnosed with Vegetative State (VS) and Minimally Conscious State (MCS) following severe brain injury. The study aims to enroll at least 20 patients aged between 18 and 65 over 18 months. Patients will be recruited from the Neurorehabilitation Unit of Piedmont Hospital, IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo in Messina. The experimental group will receive multisensory stimulation using Neurowave (INES) for four weeks, five days a week, 45 minutes per session. The control group will undergo a traditional multisensory stimulation program. Enrollment will use simple random sampling to minimize bias. Caregivers will provide biographical information, and both groups will be monitored using event-related potentials. Clinical scales will evaluate cognitive-motor outcomes at different time points. The study includes a one-month follow-up to assess long-term results. Data will be collected and exported for statistical analysis.

Full description

This study aims to investigate the cognitive-motor effects of emotionally significant advanced multisensory stimulation (INES) in patients diagnosed with Vegetative State (VS) and Minimally Conscious State (MCS) following severe acquired brain injury. Primary objectives include exploring short- and long-term efficacy through clinical-psychometric follow-up and examining potential correlations between neurophysiological and clinical-psychometric parameters as predictive indices of recovery. The secondary objectives concern the implementation of highly specialized technological innovations in current clinical practice, and evaluating the rehabilitation effectiveness of advanced treatment with Neurological Waves. Therefore, the study aims to develop models and protocols for multisensory rehabilitation stimulation and evaluate the synergies between different stimulation modalities and advanced cognitive electrophysiology techniques. Furthermore, the research aims to promote clinical investigations and systematic monitoring of post-acute patients, focusing on the quantitative analysis of EEG and Cognitive Evoked Potentials to unconventional sensory stimuli with emotionally significant content. The study also deepens the understanding of the role of the metabolic-nutritional state in the cognitive-motor recovery of patients with disorders of consciousness. The present study is a randomized controlled pilot study, with an interventional, non-pharmacological, and single-center design. Materials and methods: The study will consecutively enroll at least 20 adult subjects diagnosed with disorders of consciousness at the Neurorehabilitation Unit of the Piedmont Hospital. Comprehensive multidimensional assessments will be conducted at baseline (T0), followed by an intensive one-month course of advanced multisensory training using Neurowave (INES) for the experimental group and conventional multisensory stimulation (ISES) for the control group. Evaluation at the end of each training cycle (T1) and a one-month follow-up (T2) will provide information on long-term results. Inclusion criterion: Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 65, with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score greater than 8 and a Cognitive Scale Level (LCF) between 1 and 3. Informed consent must be obtained from their legal guardian. Exclusion criteria: Exclusion criteria include individuals outside the specified age range, lack of legal guardian consent, anatomical alterations that prevent the correct placement of electrodes, and absence of neurophysiological responses in visual and auditory evoked potentials. Registration start and end dates: The study implementation period is expected to be from December 2023 to March 2025, with a total study duration of 18 months.


40 estimated patients




16 to 65 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Age between 18 and 65 years.
  • Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) > 8.
  • Level of Cognitive Scale (LCF) = 1-3.
  • Consent is signed by the legal guardian.

Exclusion criteria

  • Age < 18 years or > 65 years.
  • Lack of consent from the legal guardian.
  • Patients with cranial anatomical alterations hindering proper electrode, headset, etc., placement.
  • Patients showed no neurophysiological responses in visual evoked potentials (VEP) and no V wave in auditory evoked potentials (AEP).

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Double Blind

40 participants in 2 patient groups

Experimental group
Experimental group
patients will receive Neurowave multisensory stimulation with concurrent event-related potential acquisition. This intensive training spans five days a week over four weeks, with each session lasting 45 minutes, summing up to 20 sessions. During each session, participants will encounter personalized visual and auditory stimuli. Neurowave treatment comprises an intensive intervention, presenting emotionally significant audio-visual content linked to the patient's life history. Within Neurowave use, visual stimuli will be complemented by primary auditory stimulation, involving exposure to emotionally charged everyday sounds.
Device: Intensive Neurowave Emotional Stimulation (INES)
Control group
Active Comparator group
Participants will receive primary auditory stimulation featuring familiar and emotionally evocative everyday sounds. This involves exposure to audio tapes and sounds related to their daily life, including voices of family and friends, snippets of favorite songs, and sounds associated with past work or leisure activities. The control group will undergo a program called Intensive Sensorial Emotional Stimulation (ISES), matching the frequency, intensity, and session duration of the experimental group but without Neurowave system utilization. Distinctively, the control group will not utilize Neurowave technology. Instead, they will follow a traditional rehabilitation approach incorporating paper materials, live photos, face-to-face interaction with the therapist, and the conventional listening of music tapes. This method aims to replicate an emotionally engaging environment, serving as a comparative reference to the experimental group's Neurowave-assisted experience.
Other: Intensive Sensorial Emotional Stimulation (ISES)

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Maria Grazia Maggio, PsyD, PhD; IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo

Data sourced from

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