Consciousness sparked in man after 15 years in vegetative state

Brain scan

The reignited activity bumped his clinical status from vegetative to minimally conscious-an improvement, but still a severely disabled condition. The vagus nerve, which also reaches down into the abdomen, plays many roles including slowing the heartbeat and controlling muscles of the small intestine. When doctors requested he turn his head one side or the other, the patient obeyed.

This, however, changed shortly after a neurosurgeon implanted a device in the man's chest that stimulates the vagus nerve, according to the study.

The 35-year-old, left severely brain damaged by a vehicle crash, had shown minimal signs he was aware of the outside world following the accident.

It's generally believed that patients who are in a vegetative state more than a year after experiencing severe brain trauma won't regain consciousness ever again.

"Many of these patients may and will have been neglected, and passive euthanasia may happen often in a vegetative state", Niels Birbaumer of the University of Tübingen in Germany who was not involved in the study, tells The Guardian. A breakthrough new study, however, suggests that this may no longer be the case.

The 35-year-old was in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and although he was capable of some involuntary movements, he had no awareness or self or his environment, and this had not improved over time.

Lourdes and Mercy Health to Offer Free Flu Shots
Nurses expect flu season to pick up sometime next month, and carry through to at least February. The government recommends everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot.

After the first month of the procedure, an electroencephalogram (EEG) brain scan "revealed a significant increase in theta band (4-7 Hz) power", which is the brain wave associated with daydreaming and ideation. After a month of stimulation, the patient's mother reported that his ability to stay awake was improved by listening to his therapist reading a book. This is a sort of neural hub that connects various key brain areas including the thalamus (relays sensory impulses from receptors in various parts of the body to the cerebral cortex), amygdala (paramount in our perception of fear and other emotions), and the hippocampus (where memories are stored and retrieved). "Brain plasticity and brain fix is possible even when hope seems to have disappeared", said Angela Sirigu, a researcher at the Institute of cognitive science.

By stimulating a nerve that stretches from the abdomen to the brain, French researchers have restored a significant measure of consciousness to a brain-damaged 35-year-old auto accident victim who had spent 15 years in a vegetative state.

"Investigators. should be more cautious not to imply false expectation in family members that further improvement beyond visual pursuit and occasional facial response is guaranteed", said Buzsaki.

The result "totally makes sense to me", said Dr. Nicholas Schiff, a neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City who did not participate in the research.

Doctors at a Canadian intensive care unit discovered that one person had persistent brain activity after they turned off their life support machine, but three others did not. The results, published today in the journal Current Biology, was compiled by researchers led by Angela Sirigu from the ISC Marc Jeannerod.

The study team is planning on conducting a larger scale trial.

Related News:

  • Twitter's testing a 280-character limit for tweets

    Twitter's testing a 280-character limit for tweets

    The anxiety that Twitter users feel when nearing the 140-character limit on their posts may be coming to an end soon. Only four tenths of one percent of Japanese tweets have 140 characters, compared to 9 percent of tweets in English.
    Equifax CEO quits after massive hack

    Equifax CEO quits after massive hack

    His previous experience includes executive and managerial roles at Motorola, Inc., The NutraSweet Company and Monsanto Company. Equifax tried to help customers find out if they were affected by the breach , but accidentally sent them to a phony site .
    Mexico City slowly reopens schools after quake

    Mexico City slowly reopens schools after quake

    Others among the 20 million people who live in greater Mexico City were gradually resuming their routines, however. Similar scenes have been playing out across central Mexico since Tuesday's 7.1 magnitude natural disaster struck.
  • 'The Voice': Season 13 Starts and Ends with a Four-Chair Turn

    'The Voice': Season 13 Starts and Ends with a Four-Chair Turn

    And Esera Tuaolo , a 48-year-old former pro NFL football player from Hawaii who now resides in Minneapolis MN, sang "Rise Up". This year, Rascal Flatts will be guest advisors for the Shelton camp, while Billy Ray Cyrus will help out his daughter Miley.
    Trent Richardson signs with Saskatchewan Roughriders

    Trent Richardson signs with Saskatchewan Roughriders

    The Crimson Tide won the national championship that year and also during his freshman season in 2009. His output dropped significantly in the next two seasons with the Browns and eventually the Colts.
    Largest ever rough cut diamond sold at public auction nets 53 million

    Largest ever rough cut diamond sold at public auction nets 53 million

    The only larger diamond previously unearthed was the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905. The precious stone of 1.109 carats, discovered in Botswana in 2015, is now the property of the dealer british Graff Diamonds.
  • Dyson to make electric cars by 2020

    Dyson to make electric cars by 2020

    All we have to go on so far, officially at least, is the rather brief social media announcement made by the company. Aston Martin's former product development director Ian Minards made the same move in September previous year.
    Republican senators offer conservative alternative to DREAM Act

    Republican senators offer conservative alternative to DREAM Act

    There's so many issues with immigration and it's been so many decades since those issues have been addressed. Whether they will actually be deported after that point is unclear.
    Near-term bias for crude oil remains positive

    Near-term bias for crude oil remains positive

    This recent price jump suggests these efforts to rebalance the oil industry by cutting production through early 2018 are working. London Brent crude for November delivery was down 8 cents at $56.78 a barrel by 0614 GMT, near the highest since March.
  • 'I don't care if Uber leaves Quebec,' says Montreal mayor

    'I don't care if Uber leaves Quebec,' says Montreal mayor

    Ride-hailing company Uber says it will cease operating in Quebec next month if the province doesn't rescind new rules introduced last week.
    Pittsburgh QB Roethlisberger Regrets National Anthem Protest

    Pittsburgh QB Roethlisberger Regrets National Anthem Protest

    He also emphasized that he is not opposed to players who sit or kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. "When we came out of the locker room into that tunnel, it was a very small area".
    ADB keeps China growth forecast unchanged at 6.7 pct

    ADB keeps China growth forecast unchanged at 6.7 pct

    She added it was impossible for loan growth to reach double digits at the end of this year, but it might be close to 10 percent. It expects growth next year to pick up to 7.4 percent, lower than the previously estimated 7.6 percent, reported Moneycontrol.


Most liked

Corrie legend Liz Dawn has died aged 77
Liz said she wished she had never smoked but also blamed performing in smoke-filled clubs for the illness. Actress Liz Dawn , who played Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street for more than three decades, has died.

Amid dismal ticket sales, Pyeongchang 2018 gets help from South Korean banks
Olympic Committee (USOC) said it was "very much looking forward" to the Games. The IOC has said it is not contemplating any "Plan B" for the Games.

Isaiah Thomas could return to Cavaliers by Christmas
Thomas's hip was so damaged that the Cavaliers felt the need to ask for additional compensation from the Celtics in the trade. Thomas averaged 28.9 points-per-game last season, which was third highest in the National Basketball Association .

Sessions Equates Student Protesters To KKK During Remarks On Free Speech
Sessions defended Trump's criticism of NFL players who chose to protest during the national anthem. And he said the Department of Justice will be making more such filings in weeks to come.

LeBron James: Intentions to end career in Cleveland haven't changed
James has kept his cards very close to his chest this offseason and seems committed to doing so until the time comes. At some point, when he was ready to take over the keys, I was ready to give them to him.

Thousands on the Indonesian island of Bali evacuated
More than 75,000 people were evacuated over the past few days as Agung has experienced hundreds of internal volcanic earthquakes. Indonesia's national disaster agency has sent 640,000 face masks, 12,500 mattresses, 8,400 blankets and 50 tents.

National Voter Registration Day: How to register
To register, you must be a USA citizen, an OR resident and 18 years old by the time of the election. Cook County held a big voter registration drive signing up eligible voters throughout the county.

Otto Warmbier blind, deaf and 'jerking violently' on U.S. return, parents say
He was arrested and accused of removing a propaganda poster from his hotel, and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Mr Warmbier also said Otto also bore a large scar on his right foot and was running a high fever on his return.

Anthony Weiner gets 21 months in prison in sexting case
In imposing sentence, the judge cited a need in such a highly publicised case to "make a statement that can protect other minors". House, but it also doomed his campaign for mayor and his marriage to Huma Abedin, a former aide to Hillary Clinton .

Spain's chief prosecutor says arrest of Catalan leader 'possible'
Hundreds of police reinforcements, including the national Civil Guard, have been brought into Barcelona and other cities. Rajoy's government claims the referendum would violate the country's constitution.

'Highest Ranking' Russian General Killed in ISIS Attack in Syria
The indirect surface-to-surface fire, he said , was believed to have come from either Syrian or Russian forces. State TV al-Ikhbariya filmed from inside the town, showing plumes of black smoke rising into the sky.

Mkhitaryan aims for a goal against CSKA
Fellaini did not travel with the squad for Wednesday's group stage tie because of the injury that has infuriated Jose Mourinho and his staff.

Labour plans to nationalise PFI contracts
These are borrowers who are now paying more in interest and charges than the size of their original loans. And the government said Labour proposals went too far and would hurt the economy.

Tower Hill station evacuated after claims phone charger exploded on Tube
A senior officer of the British Transport Police (BTP) said, "The incident at the Tower Hill station is not suspicious ". The explosion occured on a District Line train which was heading towards Ealing Broadway from east London, reports said.

Britain's Prince Harry Makes First Public Appearance With Girlfriend Meghan Markle
The couple could be seen laughing and smiling as they caught some of the wheelchair tennis at the tournament in Toronto, Canada. Markle, an actress who stars in the TV legal drama " Suits ", has been dating Prince Harry for more than a year.