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Paralyzed patients, unable to speak, indicate that they want to live

May 01, 2017

A neuroscientist in Geneva, using new technology that measures brain waves and blood flow, has found a way to communicate with patients who are in a “locked-in” paralyzed state, unable to move or speak.

Niels Birbaumer of the Wyss Center found that patients could provide Yes or No answers to questions simply by their measured brain activity. After establishing that he was receiving accurate answers, he asked the profoundly paralyzed patients whether they were happy, and wanted to live. Three out of four answered affirmatively (the fourth was not asked those questions).


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