Friday, June 25, 2010

Finding Life in the Brain Dead.

BioEdge reports that new technology has been developed, cheaper and easier than the fMRI, that may allow doctors to communicate with those previously through brain dead. The "pro-life" groups who oppose patient autonomy and medical proxy laws for removal of patients from life-support are gonna love this one!

British researchers believe that they have found a way to communicate with people who appear to be in a vegetative state. Recent studies have shown that responses from some of these people can be detected with an fMRI scanner. Damian Cruse, of the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, has found that electrodes pasted to a patients scalp can detect the difference between imagining a clenched hand and imagining wiggling one’s toes. The electroencephalogram (EEG), is far cheaper and more portable than a fMRI machine. This makes it possible to ask patients Yes and No questions

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