Communication with patients in a coma possible?

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Communication with patients in a coma possible?

In Germany there are said to be around 10,000 vegetative coma patients, most of whom do not have any externally visible emotional emotion. British and Belgian researchers have found in a study now published that they were able to communicate with a coma patient.

The scientists led by Martin Monti from the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge and the Belgian neuropsychologist Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, from the Coma Science Group in Liège, Belgium, have now published their results in the renowned US journal “New England Journal of Medicine "(NEJM) (10.1056 / NEJMoa0905370).

They examined the brain activity of 59 people using a functional MRI scanner. The people concerned were asked simple questions, to which they could only answer with "yes" or "no" - for example, whether they have siblings. The researchers instructed the vegetative coma to imagine a motor or spatial task in response. Either they were standing on a tennis court and swinging their racket to play the ball with someone, or they were navigating through a city they knew or walking from room to room through their home. The calls for the performances were each called "navigation", "tennis" and the end as "relaxation".

Only 5 of the coma patients were found to have an arbitrary influence. Minimal signs of awareness were found in three and one patient was beginning to communicate. However, this is only possible with the functional MRI. No communication would have been possible or recognizable for outsiders. The researchers state that the rate of misdiagnoses in the area of ​​the wax coma patient is around 40 percent. Therefore, new diagnostic approaches should be followed in order to involve patients in the choice of treatment in the future and to increase the effectiveness of the efforts. (Thorsten Fischer, non-medical practitioner osteopathy, 05.02.2010)

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