Researchers Have Restored Consciousness In A Man Who Spent The Last 15 Years In A Vegetative State

According to a research conducted by the scientists of French National Center for Scientific Research, it has been found that nerve stimulation can provoke consciousness in a person’s life.

They conducted their research on a person who was in a vegetative state for half of his life.

Although he is not completely awake, showing signs of consciousness suggests that right kind of nerve stimulation can propel the brain and bring it back into consciousness, even after a long time.

Vagus Nerve

Many research had been done in the past regarding the stimulation of the vagus nerve of the body. The vagus nerve is a central nerve which joins the brain to the gut. In previous researchers, stimulation of the vagus nerve has shown to offer assistance in curing patients suffering from epilepsy and depression. With this base, Dr. Angela Sirigu used the same concept to restore consciousness in people who are in a coma for many years.  The longer a person is unconscious, the lesser chances he has to wake up on his own. To make her research more substantial, Dr. Sirgui chose her patient who had been in a coma for the past 15 years after he got into a car accident at the tender age of 20.

Dr.Sirgui stimulated his Vagus nerve for one month with one milliamp current. By doing so, the man responded in a miraculous manner. He was able to turn his head at the doctor’s request, could open his eyes when someone approached him and stay awake when he was read to.

Effects of Nerve Stimulation

As per the reports of Dr.Sirgui, ECG of the patient showed increased brain activity. The theta waves had increased which describe the various states of consciousness.  In the cortex and subcortex region, the metabolic activity had also increased which means a need for more energy for the brain cells. Dr. Sirgui concluded from her research that Brain repair is still possible even when all traces of hope have vanished.

THE BRAIN

These images show the brain activity before and after the vagus nerve stimulation of the patient.  If a patient remains one year without consciousness, he is said to be going into a vegetative speed and unlikely to gain wakefulness.

The hormonenorepinephrine is released into the body when the Vagus nerve is stimulated. This hormone is a neurotransmitter which enhances the communication between the regions of the brain. The parietal cortex of the brain is a significant player in increasing the neural activity in the brain regions as per Dr. Sirigui. Thus, the works of the Dr. Sirgui help in waking up patients from their unresponsive state and finds the regions of the brain which deals with consciousness.

It is a noteworthy research conducted by Dr. Angela Sirgui which helps in stimulating the vagus nerve to induce improved brain activity and response from patients lying ina coma for many years.

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