Thursday, 4 February 2010

Patient in a Vegatative State 'Talks' to Scientists

New light has been shed on the ability of patients in a vegatative state to communicate.  Using MRI, British scientists have had a ground-breaking conversation with a male patient diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state.  The conversation has been achieved by using a brain scanner to tap into the man's thoughts and monitor his responses to 'Yes' and 'No' questions.

To elicite the 'Yes' and 'No' answers, the scientists asked the patient to imagine scenes that signalled the response.  The experts believe that this changes everything about how consciousness disorders are classified.  It opens up the possibility that patients in a vegetative state could have simple conversations and communicate, request pain relief or even indicate whether they wished to stay alive.

Click here for the full news article on the remarkable breakthrough in communicating with patients in a persistent vegatative state.

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