VIII International Symposium on Brain Death ans Disorders of Consciousness

image001Dear colleagues,

We have the pleasure of inviting you to attend the VIII International Symposium on Brain Death and Disorders of Consciousness. American Scholars can legally attend this meeting (read “American Citizens” section for specific information).

Although inserted into a worldwide debate, the acceptance that a human being with irreversible loss of brain functions is dead has been progressively accepted beginning as far back as the late 1950’s.   Nonetheless, two contentious brain-dead cases have recently raised again new controversies about the diagnosis of brain death (BD), widely covered by the US and international press.

The Jahi McMath case centers on the bioethical debate surrounding her family s rejection for accepting the BD diagnosis, and their efforts to maintain her body on mechanical ventilation. Marlise Nicole Muñoz was declared brain-dead, but, doctors kept her body on a respirator because she was 14 weeks pregnant. Contrary to the McMath case, Muñoz’ s husband entered a legal battle to have her removed from life support, assuring that she had previously told him that in case of BD, she would not want to be kept alive artificially. Moreover, Erick Muñoz s attorneys also argued that the fetus had suffered from oxygen deprivation and was suspected to be non-viable.    Furthermore, the Terri Schiavo, and other famous cases have raised new controversies about the diagnosis and management of the persistent vegetative, the minimally conscious state, etc. Hence, the disorders of consciousness discussions are actual and permanent subjects for debate in the media and scientific discussion in any forum.

Havana lies on the northern coast of Cuba, is the largest city and the country’s capital. Besides its tropical savanna climate, the city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments. Old Havana exhibits almost all the Western architectural styles seen in the New World, its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

Therefore, Havana will provide the most proper venue to discuss all topics related to human death, end-of-life dilemmas, and disorders of consciousness.


Calixto Machado, MD, PhD, FAAN

President of the Symposium

Instituto de Neurología y Neurocirugía

29 y D, Vedado, La Habana 10400Phone: 537-834 5578





  • Conceptual approach to human death
  • BD criteria in different countries
  • Ancillary tests in BD
  • Autonomic nervous system assessment in BD
  • BD in childhood
  • Anencephalic infants
  • End-of-life dilemmas: terminal patient, euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc.
  • Legal considerations surrounding BD and related states.
  • Philosophical, theological, sociological, historical and cultural considerations of human death.
  • Organ transplantation.



  • Pathophysiological mechanisms of consciousness generation
  • Coma, persistent vegetative state (PVS), minimally conscious state (MCS), and other DOC
  • Clinical diagnosis of DOC
  • Neuroimaging techniques for assessing DOC
  • Neurophysiologic tests for assessing DOC
  • Autonomic nervous system assessment of DOC
  • Neurorehabilitation of DOC
  • Neuroprotection and Neuromonitoring of DOC
  • New trends in cardio-pulmonar-cerebral resuscitation



  • Although the Conference will be mainly related to BD and DOC, several satellite meeting will be held on general topics of neurology and neurosciences.
  • Please, do not hesitate to propose us any topic or idea to improve the scientific program.




You can participate in our Symposium as a delegate, although we encourage you to submit an abstract. Please, read carefully the following instructions before submitting your abstract.

Only abstracts submitted in English will be accepted, in order to be published. Abstracts sent in Spanish will not be considered.


Submit your abstract in Microsoft Word

  • Authors names should be provided in the format Alvarez, RS. Do not add Dr, Prof, Mr., Mrs., etc.
  • The title should have a maximum of 150 characters, typed in capitals.
  • Affiliation should be included in line a. If authors’ affiliations are different, you should indicate them filling b, c, and d lines.
  • The presenting author’s email address should be included.
  • The abstract should have a maximum of 250 words. Any longer and the abstracts will be truncated or not accepted.
  • Indicate whether the abstract is intended for oral or poster presentation or either.
  • The abstract should be structured using the following headings: Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusions, and Keywords (no less than four keywords). Non-structured abstracts might be accepted.
  • The abstract should be as informative as possible, including statistical evaluation.
  • Statements such as “results will be discussed” or “data will be presented” are not acceptable.
  • Standard abbreviations such as: PVS, MCS, EEG, MEEG, MRI, etc., may be used. Others should be described in full when first mentioned followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis.
  • Tables may be included, but not photographs, figures or references.
  • You will be notified via e-mail to confirm that your abstract has been received.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation within two weeks please contact the Symposium Secretariat.
  • Abstracts will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee.
  • Some very high quality abstracts offered for oral presentation might be included in satellite symposium or courses.
  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: September 15, 2018
  • Notification of Accepted Abstracts: October 15, 2018



You can use online registration through our web site, or upon arrival to the Symposium Venue.


Delegates: 300.00 Euros


  • Badge
  • Symposium documentation
  • Access to the Symposium sessions
  • Certificate of Presentation and/or Attendance
  • Welcome Cocktail and Farewell party


Accompanying persons 100.00 Euros


  • Badge
  • Access to the program for accompanying persons
  • Opening and Closing ceremonies
  • Access to the social and cultural activities