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After 15 years in a vegetative state, man recovers minimal consciousness

After 15 years in a vegetative state, man recovers minimal consciousness

Advances in science and technology can be instrumental in treating a range of diseases - or even to prevent a problem before it even happens. A recent history is stirring physicians around the world as well as the population.

After suffering a car accident, a 35-year-old man who has been in persistent vegetative state for 15 years. But after receiving electrical stimulation in the vagus nerve, one of the main responsible for connecting the brain to the rest of the body, he was able to move his head and widen his eyes.

Researcher Angela Sirigu, who led the work at the Institute of Sciences Cognitive Marc Jeannerod in Lyon, France, said: "He is still paralyzed, he can not speak, but now he is more attentive."

The new treatment challenges a widely accepted view that there is no prospect for a patient to recover the if he is in a coma for more than 12 months. According to Niels Birbaumer, a professor at the University of Tübingen and a pioneer in brain-computer interfaces to help patients with neurological disorders, the results of the research ethical problems. "Many of these patients can and will be neglected, and passive euthanasia can often happen in a vegetative state." This article is a warning to all those who believe that this state is hopeless after a year. " In this event, doctors performed a 20-minute surgery, in which a small electric appliance was implanted in the patient's neck. After a month of minor shocks in the region, the patient's attention, movements and brain activity improved significantly and he shifted to a minimal state. Recordings of brain activity also revealed important changes, such as signs of increased electrical communication between brain regions and more activities in areas linked to movement, sensation and consciousness. The vagus nerve, which the treatment has reached, connects the brain to almost every vital organ in the body. In the brain, it is directly linked to two regions known to play roles in alertness and consciousness. "Empowering the sending of information by the vagus nerve to the brain helps to restore consciousness even after many years in a vegetative state, The direct connection between the nucleus from which the vagus nerve originates and the thalamus (the region of the brain responsible for regulating sleep, consciousness, and the waking state) may lead to a loss of consciousness that is irreversible after 12 months. to be the cause of the significant increase in activity at the cortex level, "the researchers commented in the article.

In order to be able to implement the technique in the near future, the team intends to dedicate itself initially to the expansion of the experiment. "I think, after this case report, we should consider testing a larger number of people. Specifically, I believe that such treatment may be important for minimally aware patients, giving them more chances to communicate with the outside world. serious clinical patients are possible when the right intervention is appropriate and powerful, "the study's author told The Guardian.

So they plan to conduct a collaborative study involving several clinical research centers. "But as a cognitive neuroscientist, my goal is also to understand the neural mechanisms involved, so more basic research will also be important in advancing our understanding of this fascinating ability of our minds to produce awareness."


Anvisa approves medicine to treat heart failure

Anvisa approves medicine to treat heart failure

This week, a new class of medicine for treating heart failure will reach Brazilian pharmacies. In May 2017, the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (Anvisa) approved the registration of an unpublished medicine for the treatment of heart failure. The remedy Entresto (sacubitril / valsartan) is indicated for adult patients whose symptoms are triggered by daily activities, but also occurring when they are at rest.

(Health)

Rage Crisis and Excessive Exercise Increase Risk of Heart Attack

Rage Crisis and Excessive Exercise Increase Risk of Heart Attack

Previous studies have already explored this theory that attacks of rage or physical exertion can trigger a heart attack, but the samples were small and inconclusive. Andrew Smyth, lead author of the study and researcher at McMaster University in Canada, commented: "Previous studies have explored these triggers for heart attack, yet they have had fewer participants or were done in one country, and data were limited to many parts of the world "The new study evaluated data from 12,000 patients with a mean age of 58 years who had a heart attack for the first time.

(Health)