Freeing the Mind

The possibility of communicating with severely brain damaged patients with the use of brain scans has become reality. Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or FMRI doctors were able to get answers to yes or no questions by asking apparently vegetative patients to think of playing tennis or walking around the house. Those 2 activities, when thought of, cause activity in different parts of the brain. One for yes and the other for no allowed one patient who has been in a vegetative state for 12 years to indicated he was not in pain and that he was aware he has a 7 year old niece. What a wonderful gift for these people and their families. Also, what great potential to help ALS and other paralyzed patients to communicate.
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 18, 2012
     Category: Brain Damage

This is just so great! For people locked inside a non-functioning body to have a way to communicate with the outside world is indescribably wonderful!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 11/18/12 at 02:58 PM
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 11/18/12 at 04:00 PM
There is a GREAT political joke in there, but I'm too tired now to tease it out.
Posted by tadchem on 11/18/12 at 05:28 PM
It is great that they have found a way to communicate with these people.
That said, If I were in that situation, The only question I would want to be asked is,"would you like us to give you a large dose of morphine and end your suffering?". My answer would be yes.
Posted by Tyrusguy on 11/18/12 at 05:44 PM
I understand that Tyrusguy, and even agree with it if I was the patient as well. But since that is not done at least there is a possibility for some small quality of life for these people. They can become a member of the family again. And, knowing they are cognizant will make all the difference in their care and the way they are interacted with. Also, may there never be a time when you need to think of that kind of thing anyway my dear friend.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 11/18/12 at 08:37 PM
@Patty, Thank you very much! That was a beautiful thing to say,and right back at you! 💋 💋
Posted by Tyrusguy on 11/18/12 at 08:53 PM
This is such a relief. My fiance and I have always felt that coma victims have never been taken seriously. If we--as a world--could fund something like this, I really think the human mind could expand. Great find WU!
Posted by Will on 11/18/12 at 11:08 PM
Unless ObamaCare is going to cover it, I'd guess the price is going to be so ridiculously high as to be prohibitive for all but the most basic of question.

That said, it is a great find and does, in fact, shed some light on an old mystery.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 11/19/12 at 12:57 AM
I saw a documentary about this type of scanning recently and using the scanner the doctor can tell your answer several seconds before you give it.
Posted by dumbledoor on 11/19/12 at 03:50 AM
Tyrusguy, ITA. Although I remember absolutely nothing from either time I was in a coma.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 11/19/12 at 10:58 AM
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