brain

Brain scans show consciousness in vegetative patients

Thursday, May 01, 2014 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: brain scan, vegetative patients, consciousness

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
BREAKING: CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement
Delicious
(NaturalNews) Researchers from the University of Liege, Belgium, have discovered that a high-tech brain scan may be able to predict which brain-injured patients who appear to be in a vegetative state have the best chance of eventually regaining consciousness, according to a study published in The Lancet on April 15.

"Our findings suggest that PET imaging can reveal cognitive processes that aren't visible through traditional bedside tests," lead researcher Steven Laureys said, "and could substantially complement standard behavioural assessments to identify unresponsive or 'vegetative' patients who have the potential for long-term recovery."

Current test unreliable

Doctors traditionally distinguish between comatose patients who are in a minimally conscious state (MCS) and those suffering from unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (a vegetative state). In an MCS, a patient still responds to some stimuli and shows some evidence of awareness; in a vegetative state, the patient is completely unresponsive and the chance of recovery has typically been considered very low.

To distinguish between these two state, doctors rely on a standardized test called the coma recovery scale-revised (CSR-R). Unfortunately, CSR-R is only accurate about 60 percent of the time.

"In patients with substantial cerebral oedema [swelling of the brain], prediction of outcome on the basis of standard clinical examination and structural brain imaging is probably little better than flipping a coin," wrote Jamie Sleigh from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and Catherine Warnaby from the University of Oxford in an accompanying commentary.

For the study, the researchers compared two separate, 3D diagnostic brain scan tools: a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The PET scan functions by mapping the progress of a radioactive tracer (attached to glucose, the brain's energy source) through the blood as separate brain regions are activated by a stimulus. The fMRI scan functions by detecting the uptake of oxygen in various brain regions in response to a stimulus.

Over the course of four years, the researchers performed PET and fMRI tests on 81 patients who had been diagnosed via CSR-R as being in an MCS and 41 who had been diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. The tests were also performed, for comparison purposes, on 39 healthy people and four with "locked-in" syndrome (in which the brain is fully active but the person is unable to respond behaviorally).

"Far-reaching implications"

The researchers found that the PET scan was 93 percent successful at detecting MCS, while the fMRI was only 45 percent successful. In addition, the PET test was more effective than CSR-R in predicting eventual recovery.

According to the CSR-R, 36 patients were completely unresponsive. However, the PET scan found brain activity consistent with MCS in 12 of these patients, nine of whom eventually recovered.

"PET imaging can reveal cognitive processes that aren't visible through traditional bedside tests," Laureys said.

The findings could significantly improve doctors' ability to determine the likelihood of patient recovery.

"This study is welcome because diagnosis and prognostic accuracy in patients with severe brain injury needs to be improved," Sleigh and Warnaby wrote. "For example, intensive care doctors caring for former racing driver Michael Schumacher after his recent serious brain injury refused to offer any firm prognosis to the world's media."

PET scanning could have implications for patients' families, as well.

"If the results of this study are confirmed in future research, this could have far-reaching clinical, ethical and legal implications," said Michael Bloomfield of the Medical Research Council, who was not involved in the study, " including whether to offer an apparently unconscious patient pain relief and, ultimately, whether treatments that may be keeping someone alive should be continued or not."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.newsdaily.com

http://www.sciencedaily.com

http://www.alphagalileo.org

http://science.naturalnews.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.