Giving brain-injured patients a voice

Last night’s Panorama programme was a fascinating insight into research by Professor Owen, a British neuroscientist, with uncommunicative, severely brain-injured patients in Britain and Canada.

For the first time, patients in persistently vegetative states have been able to give answers clinically relevant to their care.  It was fascinating and really moving programme, showing that some patients can answer yes/no questions by imagining particular scenarios – such as playing tennis. This thought process stimulates certain brain activity which can be detected and analysed in scans.

For more information, here’s the bbc news link, which includes details about the research. And the iPlayer link

 

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