Patient Communicates Mentally From Coma

Categories: New Martian Times
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Published on: November 26, 2006

— Adelheide d’Laide

A joint Bryttasish/Gothal science team released startling findings today concerning the possibility of cognate thought in comatose individuals.

“First, we need to state that this is a singular case, and is not indicative that all such individuals are equally aware,” said lead scientist, Dr. Adra Wona.

The test was conducted on a twenty-three year old Gothal woman who had been injured in a traffic accident, which has left her unable to communicate in any verbal or physical fashion, even when she appears to be otherwise awake and alert.

The scientists who were part of the study first scanned her brain using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technology, and then began directing her with commands, such as, “imagine walking in your house,” and “pretend that you are running.”

After images of brain activity were recorded in the patient, the scientist then compared the FMRI pictures taken from healthy people.

Scientists could not tell the patterns apart.

“What this tells us,” Dr. Arda Wona stated, “Is that she could understand us, and could imagine what we had relayed to her. She is able to create certain scenarios in her mind… and most importantly, she is able to follow instructions. We have found a way to communicate—to see that she can hear—and that is the proof of hope that is needed to continue our research.”

He again stressed that this is a single case, and that more testing would need to be conducted on multiple individuals.

Such a study is likely to fuel debates in the future concerning the care of other comatose individuals, such as Telli Shafo, a Kroy woman who was taken off of life support after fifteen years in a persistent vegetative state, and multiple suites between the husband of Mrs. Shafo and her parents.

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