vegetative state

15 Stories

Each Night, These Brothers Become Paralyzed

Fine during the day, they can't eat, talk, or even open their eyes at night

(Newser) - Two brothers have come to be known as the "solar kids," in a case that has completely mystified Pakistani doctors. Aged 9 and 13, the boys are normal active children during the day. But once the sun goes down, they both lapse into a vegetative state—unable to... More »

Scientists Able to ID 'Aware' Vegetative Patients

Cambridge study finds 'signs of hidden awareness' in unresponsive patients

(Newser) - A new study offers a potential way to identify comatose patients who might be "covertly aware." University of Cambridge researchers studied the brain waves of 32 coma patients—including "minimally conscious" patients who could, say, squeeze a finger on command; "vegetative" patients who were unmoving; and... More »

Man in Vegetative State 'Reacts' to Hitchcock Film

His brain activity while watching is similar to a healthy person's: study

(Newser) - Ever since an assault at age 18, a now-34-year-old Canadian man has been in a vegetative state—but his father still takes him to the movies every Wednesday. And when the man took part in a new study published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,... More »

Many Vegetative People Are Actually Conscious

Scans detect which patients have hope of recovery

(Newser) - Many patients labeled vegetative actually have some degree of consciousness and a good chance of improving with treatment, a new study finds. Researchers tracked more than 100 patients with severe brain injuries for a year and discovered that PET scans were 74% accurate in predicting which patients would show signs... More »

3-Year-Old Dies After Trip to Dentist

Finley Boyle was supposed to undergo several root canals

(Newser) - When Ashley Boyle took her 3-year-old daughter to Hawaii's Island Dentistry for Children in November, she says she was told the child needed six fillings and four root canals. They returned for the root canals on Dec. 3; on Friday, Finley Boyle died, a month after suffering brain damage... More »

Activity Detected in Ariel Sharon's Brain

Former Israeli PM has been in coma 7 years

(Newser) - After seven years in a coma, Ariel Sharon's brain is showing signs of life—and he might even know the Israeli election results. A brain scan of the former prime minister, who has been in a vegetative state since suffering a massive stroke in early 2006, found that his... More »

Patient in Vegetative State: I'm Not in Pain

In breakthrough, doctors communicate with brain-damaged man

(Newser) - An intriguing medical breakthrough out of Canada—doctors say they have been able for the first time to communicate with a patient who has severe brain damage. Better yet, the message delivered by the patient was a great one: I'm not in pain. The Canadian Press and the BBC... More »

Parkinson’s Drug May Speed Brain Injury Recovery

Amantadine hydrochloride shown to accelerate improvement

(Newser) - Good news for patients suffering from severe brain injuries: A drug used to treat Parkinson's disease could accelerate their recovery. The drug, amantadine hydrochloride, was tested against a placebo in a blind study of 184 patients. The group receiving the drug showed more improvement—not a lot more, but... More »

Awareness Detected in 'Vegetative' Patients

Study results could provide new hope for patients thought to be unresponsive

(Newser) - A new study could have a life-changing impact on patients thought to be in a “vegetative” state: Three such patients displayed signs of full consciousness in a simple test. “It sure looks as if there’s not just a little bit of consciousness but a lot” in these... More »

Coma Tot Moved to Catholic Hospital to Extend Life

Catholic group 'rescues' boy at center of Canada right-to-life debate

(Newser) - A Canadian baby at the center of a right-to-life debate has been moved to an American hospital with the help of an activist Catholic priest. Tiny 1-year-old Joseph Maraachli is in a vegetative state and doctors say he has no hope of recovery. A Canada court ruled that doctors could... More »

Coma Man's 'Communication' Proved False

Neurologist says Rom Houben is conscious, but can't communicate

(Newser) - The story of a Belgian man who began communicating after more than 20 years in a coma made headlines around the world, but the skeptics have now been proven right. Rom Houben's neurologist says further tests have found that the facilitated communication method, in which a therapist guided Houben's fingers... More »

Coma Doc Checking Dozens of New Cases

Belgian searches for more victims of 'locked-in' syndrome

(Newser) - The Belgian neurologist who discovered that a patient thought to have been in a coma was actually conscious for 23 years has been checking dozens of other patients for signs of awareness. And he has discovered consciousness in some of the 50 patients he checks annually with his state-of-the-art equipment,... More »

Coma Man's Words May Not Be His

Experts doubt Houben's 'facilitated communication'

(Newser) - Ron Houben's poignant words after being locked for 23 years inside his paralyzed body may not be his own, according to some skeptical experts. They believe the Belgian, misdiagnosed as being in a vegetative state, is definitely sentient. But they note that an "interview" with him relied on "... More »

Coma Man Was Conscious for 23 Years

'I was witness to my own suffering,' says Belgian

(Newser) - A man believed to be in a coma for 23 years following a car accident was actually conscious but completely paralyzed. "I dreamed myself away," said Belgian Rom Houben, now 49. A doctor finally made the correct diagnosis and discovered Houben's brain was completely normal and functioning. With... More »

'Italy's Terri Schiavo' Dies

Lawmakers were debating PM's bill against euthanasia when news broke

(Newser) - A woman who sparked debate over right-to-die laws in Italy has died after 17 years in a coma, the Times of London reports. Italian lawmakers, led by PM Silvio Berlusconi, were debating an emergency bill to keep Eluana Englaro alive at the time. The law would forbid carers of those... More »

15 Stories