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Brain scanner shows ‘vegetative’ patients can answer questions internally

February 04, 2010

Researchers using a kind of MRI scan called functional magnetic resonance imaging have found that some patients diagnosed as “vegetative” are able to answer questions internally.

One patient was asked yes/no questions like “Is your father’s name Thomas?” “We were astonished when we saw the results of the patient's scan and that he was able to correctly answer the questions that were asked by simply changing his thoughts,” said the study’s coauthor.

“Not only did these scans tell us that the patient was not in a vegetative state but, more importantly, for the first time in five years it provided the patient with a way of communicating his thoughts to the outside world.”


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  • Posted by: deacon2476427 - Feb. 04, 2010 5:33 PM ET USA

    It doesn't end. God help us.