NPR

A New Way To Test For Signs Of Consciousness In Unresponsive, Brain-Injured Patients

Scientists are investigating a better test of consciousness in brain-injured patients. If it becomes widely available, it could help with agonizing decisions about withdrawal of life support.
Source: kupicoo

Patients who are brain-injured and unresponsive may appear unconscious, but a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine repurposed a widely-used technology to demonstrate that the brains of some of these patients are still active.

The researchers used electroencephalography or EEG to look for signs of brain activity in a group of brain-injured patients, finding that 15% of those studied had residual activity despite being unable to speak or move.

EEG is already used to diagnose epilepsy and other brain disorders, but this study shows that EEG recordings can be used to detect what some researchers call "preserved

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