Being Caged in a Vegetative State

Today, a jaw dropping study is published in our highly respected journal, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).  The researchers had a unique question: do patients who are in vegetative state or minimally conscious state have functioning brain activity, or awareness, but unable to express them?

Here comes the intriguing answer: some of them yes, they have. It sounds too good to be true in a science fiction movie, but with the aid of functional magnetic resonance assessment of the brain, the authors had shown 5 of the 54 patients who were enrolled in the study had been able to willfully modulate their brain activity.

Published at http://www.nejm.org February 3, 2010 (10.1056/NEJMoa0905370)

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One response to “Being Caged in a Vegetative State

  1. saima khan

    This is exacly how I feel, whenever I see my Dad, he responds by coughing, since that is the only option for him, he is in PVS (according to his doctor) since 7 years, but I always have the response. By reading your article, I am not sure how to help my Dad. Whenever I talk to his doctor, always get the same cruel reply “he is a dead vegitable” and he cannot prescribe FMRI for him. Is it possible that you can guide me in a specific direction. Thanks.

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