Consciousness partially restored in man who spent 15 years in ‘vegetative state’
(FEDOR KOSSAKOVSKI, PBS) Doctors generally accept that the damage from a traumatic brain injury is irreparable after a person spends 12 months in a vegetative state. New research has just turned this idea on its head.
Neuropsychologists in France have restored a minimal level of consciousness in a man with profound brain injuries who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade.
Their findings unlock a potential path for bringing consciousness back to thousands of patients previously thought beyond help.
“We choose a patient who was in a vegetative state [for] 15 years, showing no sign of change since his car accident,” neuroscientist and study co-author Dr. Angela Sirigu said.
Little else is publicly known about the 35-year-old man, as the researchers have chosen not to share his identity and his family has declined to speak on his behalf.
Brain activity returned to the patient due to the researchers’ use of a technique called vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), which they had hoped could rehabilitate his consciousness. READ FULL STORY AT PBS.ORG. Also of interest: Just 25 Mins. of Yoga Boosts Brain Function