A new treatment for the vegetative state has been successful
It is said that after one year of unresponsive behavior, chances become very low. Now a 35-year-old man who has remained in a vegetative state for 15 years is showing signs of consciousness after receiving a treatment based on nerve stimulation.
After nerve stimulation “it is possible to improve a patient’s presence in the world”
One month after a nerve stimulator system was implanted in his chest, the person in question — who had suffered a car accident — started to respond to simple orders to which he previously did not respond. Also, the patient increased consciousness level including improved behavioral responsiveness and enhanced brain connectivity patterns.
These findings published in Current Biology (see Abstract HERE) help to show that after nerve stimulation “it is possible to improve a patient’s presence in the world,” according to the lead author Angela Siringu of the Institute des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod in Lyon, France.
See our post One major ethical issue is to determine whether artificial nutrition and hydration should be withdrawn from patients in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) or minimally conscious state (MCS) HERE