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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