Vegetative-state patient responds to therapy

Vegetative-state patient responds to therapy

The vagus nerve stimulation treatment involved implanting a palm-sized, disk-shaped stimulator that gives off miniscule electrical shocks - less than a hundredth of the electrical current in a battery-powered wrist watch - to the vagus nerve.

He added: "It is very important to take into account that the patient moved from a vegetative to a minimally conscious state". The vagus nerve serves many roles in the anatomy: it controls the slowing of the heartbeat and the muscles of the small intestine. For the first time, the unnamed patient was able to follow a moving object with his eyes and turn his head on request.

This, however, changed shortly after a neurosurgeon implanted a device in the man's chest that stimulates the vagus nerve, according to the study.

This level of capability is regarded as a "partially conscious awareness" and it is not suspected that he will progress to being able to walk or talk, due to the extensive damage.

"We chose a patient who had been in a vegetative state for 15 years showing no signs of change since his auto accident", study lead author AngelaSirigu, director of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences - Marc Jeannerod in Lyon, France, said in a statement.

Most experimental treatments for the vegetative state have failed to show improvement, said Dr. James Bernat, emeritus professor of neurology and medicine at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Sirigu said that she and her team designed the experiment after reading about animal studies that suggest there may be a link between the nerve's stimulation and consciousness.

Caitlyn Jenner's representative confirms daughter Kylie's pregnancy
One such insane Bollywood Celebrity is our own Punjabi singer/actor Diljit Dosanjh who is completely in awe of Kylie Jenner . When the news emerged that Kylie Jenner was reportedly pregnant , people were shocked. "She isn't pregnant! " declared one.

What hopes this new advance can it represent for the families of patients in vegetative state?

After 15 years in a vegetative state, a man is responding to vagus nerve stimulation therapy, a treatment now used to treat depression and epilepsy. His brain scans also revealed that there were improvements in brain areas involved in awareness, sensation and movement.

A man is showing his first signs of consciousness, 15 years after a vehicle crash, thanks to vagus nerve stimulation. This is a sort of neural hub that connects various key brain areas including the thalamus (relays sensory impulses from receptors in various parts of the body to the cerebral cortex), amygdala (paramount in our perception of fear and other emotions), and the hippocampus (where memories are stored and retrieved). After one month of stimulation, the patient's attention, movements and brain activity significantly improved. PET results corroborated the EEG findings by showing extensive increases in metabolic activity in both cortical and subcortical regions of the brain, as early as three months after implantation of the stimulator.

What this shows is that "brain plasticity and brain fix are still possible even when hope seems to have vanished", Sirigu added. The results, published today in the journal Current Biology, was compiled by researchers led by Angela Sirigu from the ISC Marc Jeannerod.

In the end, Sirigu said that her team was not, in fact, surprised by the encouraging results, based on evidence of the impact of VNS in prior animal research.

Related Articles