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Man in coma uses his thoughts to tell doctors, 'I'm not in pain'

Man in coma uses his thoughts to tell doctors I m not in pain

Source: io9

Stashed in: #health, Brain, Medicine

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Back in 2010, neuroscientists confirmed that it was possible to communicate with some patients locked in a vegetative state by using an fMRI scanner. Though limited, the breakthrough suggested that more meaningful dialogue with patients in a coma could someday be possible. And now, two years later, it has finally happened. A Canadian man in a vegetative state has used his thoughts to tell scientists that he is not in any pain, marking the first time a patient in such a condition has relayed information relevant to their care.

The communication breakthrough was achieved by Adrian Owen and his colleagues from Western University's Brain and Mind Institute. Speaking to the BBC, Owen noted that, "Scott has been able to show he has a conscious, thinking mind. We have scanned him several times and his pattern of brain activity shows he is clearly choosing to answer our questions. We believe he knows who and where he is."

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