Brain Stimulation Partly Awakened A Patient After 15 Years In A Vegetative State, National Center for Scientific Research Reveals

Published: Sep 27, 2017

Patients who lose consciousness for more than a year are considered extremely unlikely to regain it, but a 35-year-old Frenchman who had been in a vegetative state for 15 years has shown hints of awareness after having key brain regions electrically stimulated, scientists reported on Monday.

The patient was able to follow an object with his eyes, turn his head when asked to, and widened his eyes in surprise when a researcher’s head came close to his face — none of which he did in a vegetative state. Although he is far from recovered, and although hopeful results in one patient don’t mean the technique will work for others, the study adds to evidence that there might be a way to restore consciousness to some patients — even years later.

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