Monday, November 4, 2013

Patient in minimally-conscious state responded like healthy volunteers

Research continues to show that some patients in minimally-conscious states are able to respond to their environments mentally the same as healthy individuals, and that a diagnosis of "persistent vegetative state" can be inaccurate in many cases. Human beings have infinite value and are not "vegetables."

An analysis of brain activity in 21 patients and eight healthy volunteers showed one of the patients could pick out individual sounds....... 
The patients and volunteers had their brains scanned during the experiment.

They were all played a word every second for 90 seconds. They had been told to count the number of times the word "yes" or "no" appeared during the stream of words.

Brainwave records showed one patient's brain activity was "indistinguishable" from the healthy patients, suggesting he was able to focus his attention on the words.