Vegetative patients may have awareness

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Vegetative patients may have awareness
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

1 hour, 2 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Advanced brain scanning uncovered startling signs of awareness in a woman in a vegetative state, British scientists reported Thursday — a finding that complicates one of medicine's ethical minefields.

The work is sure to elicit pleas from families desperate to know if loved ones deemed beyond medical help have brain activity that doctors don't suspect. "Can he or she hear and understand me?" is a universal question.

It's far too soon to raise hopes, the British researchers and U.S. brain specialists stress. There's no way to know if this 23-year-old woman, brain-damaged over a year ago, will recover, and therefore if her brain activity meant anything medically. Her brain injury may not be typical of patients in a vegetative state.

Scientists don't even agree on whether the woman had some real awareness — she seemed to follow, mentally, certain commands — or if her brain was responding more automatically to speech.

"This is just one patient. The result in one patient does not tell us whether any other patient will show similar results, nor whether this result will have any bearing on her," cautioned neuroscientist Adrian Owen of Britain's Medical Research Council. He led the novel brain-scanning experiment, reported in the journal Science.

The work does raise calls for more research in this difficult-to-study population — because of the tantalizing prospect of one day learning how to predict whose brain is more likely to recover, and maybe even tailoring rehabilitation.

...
The woman was injured in a car crash. By the time Owen scanned her brain five months later, she had been pronounced in a vegetative state — physically unresponsive to a battery of tests. A small percentage of people make some recovery after spending a short period in a vegetative state.

...
Owen and colleagues contend their fMRI experiment showed the car-crash victim had some preserved conscious awareness despite her vegetative state.

How could they tell? First, they checked that she could process speech. Upon being told "there was milk and sugar in the coffee," the fMRI showed brain regions reacting the same in the woman and in healthy volunteers.

Then came the big test. Owen told the woman to perform a mental task — to imagine herself playing tennis and walking through her house. Motor-control regions of her brain lit up like they did in the healthy people he compared with her.

"There is no other explanation for this than that she has intentionally decided to involve herself in the study and do what we asked when we asked," Owen said in an interview.

Other scientists say that's not clear-cut.
...

Full story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060908/ap_on_he_me/vegetative_brain_8
 

Annie

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Vegetative patients may have awareness
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

1 hour, 2 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Advanced brain scanning uncovered startling signs of awareness in a woman in a vegetative state, British scientists reported Thursday — a finding that complicates one of medicine's ethical minefields.

The work is sure to elicit pleas from families desperate to know if loved ones deemed beyond medical help have brain activity that doctors don't suspect. "Can he or she hear and understand me?" is a universal question.

It's far too soon to raise hopes, the British researchers and U.S. brain specialists stress. There's no way to know if this 23-year-old woman, brain-damaged over a year ago, will recover, and therefore if her brain activity meant anything medically. Her brain injury may not be typical of patients in a vegetative state.

Scientists don't even agree on whether the woman had some real awareness — she seemed to follow, mentally, certain commands — or if her brain was responding more automatically to speech.

"This is just one patient. The result in one patient does not tell us whether any other patient will show similar results, nor whether this result will have any bearing on her," cautioned neuroscientist Adrian Owen of Britain's Medical Research Council. He led the novel brain-scanning experiment, reported in the journal Science.

The work does raise calls for more research in this difficult-to-study population — because of the tantalizing prospect of one day learning how to predict whose brain is more likely to recover, and maybe even tailoring rehabilitation.

...
The woman was injured in a car crash. By the time Owen scanned her brain five months later, she had been pronounced in a vegetative state — physically unresponsive to a battery of tests. A small percentage of people make some recovery after spending a short period in a vegetative state.

...
Owen and colleagues contend their fMRI experiment showed the car-crash victim had some preserved conscious awareness despite her vegetative state.

How could they tell? First, they checked that she could process speech. Upon being told "there was milk and sugar in the coffee," the fMRI showed brain regions reacting the same in the woman and in healthy volunteers.

Then came the big test. Owen told the woman to perform a mental task — to imagine herself playing tennis and walking through her house. Motor-control regions of her brain lit up like they did in the healthy people he compared with her.

"There is no other explanation for this than that she has intentionally decided to involve herself in the study and do what we asked when we asked," Owen said in an interview.

Other scientists say that's not clear-cut.
...

Full story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060908/ap_on_he_me/vegetative_brain_8

I read about this in the morning, dead tree. I'm of the same mind I was with Schiavo. Nutrition should not be denied. Seems reasonable if there is family or someone willing to step in to pay for, care for someone in this condition, the next of kin should be held 'harmless' and be able to walk away: ie, parents not being responsible; spouse allowed to be divorced with little time elapsing...

In any case, these and other issues should be dealt with on the state level, NOT federal.
 

dilloduck

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I read about this in the morning, dead tree. I'm of the same mind I was with Schiavo. Nutrition should not be denied. Seems reasonable if there is family or someone willing to step in to pay for, care for someone in this condition, the next of kin should be held 'harmless' and be able to walk away: ie, parents not being responsible; spouse allowed to be divorced with little time elapsing...

In any case, these and other issues should be dealt with on the state level, NOT federal.
right--cuase if the feds mess with it the will suffer severe repercussions in the next election. :cof:
 

Annie

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right--cuase if the feds mess with it the will suffer severe repercussions in the next election. :cof:
No, because it's none of the feds freakin business. :rolleyes:
 

Annie

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Politicians don't have sides--they just wanna win.
Memo to you: Neither side wins in giving power to feds of any branch, jurisdiction in this case.
 

Kagom

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This could impact everything we know...

Needless to say: interesting.
 

007

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The article failed to mention just HOW they determined there was brain activity... or did I miss something?

What exactly is "advanced brain scanning"? What are they measuring? Looking at it from my point of view, having a degree in electrical engineering, I can stick a probe on my tongue and measure electricity... it means nothing. I think these people might be hoping to see something that isn't there.
 
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The article failed to mention just HOW they determined there was brain activity... or did I miss something?

What exactly is "advanced brain scanning"? What are they measuring? Looking at it from my point of view, having a degree in electrical engineering, I can stick a probe on my tongue and measure electricity... it means nothing. I think these people might be hoping to see something that isn't there.
Pale, they asked her questions while she was being given an MRI, and compared her resultant brain activity to that of normally-functioning volunteers under MRIs. The same areas of the brain apparently responded in the same ways in each case.
 

Gunny

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Vegetative patients may have awareness
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

1 hour, 2 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Advanced brain scanning uncovered startling signs of awareness in a woman in a vegetative state, British scientists reported Thursday — a finding that complicates one of medicine's ethical minefields.

The work is sure to elicit pleas from families desperate to know if loved ones deemed beyond medical help have brain activity that doctors don't suspect. "Can he or she hear and understand me?" is a universal question.

It's far too soon to raise hopes, the British researchers and U.S. brain specialists stress. There's no way to know if this 23-year-old woman, brain-damaged over a year ago, will recover, and therefore if her brain activity meant anything medically. Her brain injury may not be typical of patients in a vegetative state.

Scientists don't even agree on whether the woman had some real awareness — she seemed to follow, mentally, certain commands — or if her brain was responding more automatically to speech.

"This is just one patient. The result in one patient does not tell us whether any other patient will show similar results, nor whether this result will have any bearing on her," cautioned neuroscientist Adrian Owen of Britain's Medical Research Council. He led the novel brain-scanning experiment, reported in the journal Science.

The work does raise calls for more research in this difficult-to-study population — because of the tantalizing prospect of one day learning how to predict whose brain is more likely to recover, and maybe even tailoring rehabilitation.

...
The woman was injured in a car crash. By the time Owen scanned her brain five months later, she had been pronounced in a vegetative state — physically unresponsive to a battery of tests. A small percentage of people make some recovery after spending a short period in a vegetative state.

...
Owen and colleagues contend their fMRI experiment showed the car-crash victim had some preserved conscious awareness despite her vegetative state.

How could they tell? First, they checked that she could process speech. Upon being told "there was milk and sugar in the coffee," the fMRI showed brain regions reacting the same in the woman and in healthy volunteers.

Then came the big test. Owen told the woman to perform a mental task — to imagine herself playing tennis and walking through her house. Motor-control regions of her brain lit up like they did in the healthy people he compared with her.

"There is no other explanation for this than that she has intentionally decided to involve herself in the study and do what we asked when we asked," Owen said in an interview.

Other scientists say that's not clear-cut.
...

Full story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060908/ap_on_he_me/vegetative_brain_8
Nah .... pull the feeding tube on them all. They are not productive members of liberal society (probably should ber destructive members); therefore, a waste of natural resources, and someone is suffering without the insurance money due at death.
 
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Reading this in conjunction with Mr. P's article in Chat about the father and son, should put a fresh perspective on the issue.
 

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Just curious, what do ya'll want?

Me, I'm afraid of death so I'm not sure.

My ex and I had this conversation and he said he didn't want to live like that. He gave his mother and brother permisson to decide, same with them. Not a nice conversation, but I would respect his wishes, and he mine. I said keep me alive. He said pull the plug, same with his mother and brother.
 

007

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Pale, they asked her questions while she was being given an MRI, and compared her resultant brain activity to that of normally-functioning volunteers under MRIs. The same areas of the brain apparently responded in the same ways in each case.
Interesting... I've had four MRI's in my life, two in the same machine, and another two in different machines. The last two being in an "open" MRI. No matter the machine configuration, they're big and 'noisey'! They ask you if you'd like to listen to music. Well, sure, play me some country. Yeah, you can hear it just fine until the scan starts, then all you hear is very loud on and off buzzing. How could they ask this woman questions 'during' a scan. I find it hard to believe she'd hear them. And another thought is, she may have very well been responding, if 'responding' is proper to say/use in this instance, to the loud sound of them machine.:dunno:
 

007

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Just curious, what do ya'll want?

Me, I'm afraid of death so I'm not sure.

My ex and I had this conversation and he said he didn't want to live like that. He gave his mother and brother permisson to decide, same with them. Not a nice conversation, but I would respect his wishes, and he mine. I said keep me alive. He said pull the plug, same with his mother and brother.
Pull the plug on me.

I worked nights in a hospital when I was going to MMI in Phoenix. The Veteran's Hospital to be specific. I helped roll over vegative patients, and what I say... I NEVER want to look like that. Not even if I'm not aware of it.

PLEASE let me die.
 
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Pull the plug on me.

I worked nights in a hospital when I was going to MMI in Phoenix. The Veteran's Hospital to be specific. I helped roll over vegative patients, and what I say... I NEVER want to look like that. Not even if I'm not aware of it.

PLEASE let me die.
I hope you have a Living Will? If not, at least put that sentiment down on on paper and give a copy to your next of kin.
 

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