General, Research, Technology

Brain implant can pull people out of a coma

Usually patients who are long timewere in a coma, faced with less chance of waking up. However, a new study, the results of which were published on, showed that the use of electrodes to deliver electrical shocks to a specific area of ​​the brain associated with consciousness can give hope even in the most seemingly hopeless cases. Thus, an experiment conducted within the walls of the University of Wisconsin shows that specially designed brain implants can allow victims of an accident or illness to lead normal daily lives.

Coma - a state between life and death, during which the patient completely loses the ability to contact with the world around him

A device that can bring a person out of a coma

Coma is an extremely poorly understood state of a person,characterized by complete inhibition of the central nervous system. It is known that at the moment this condition is very common, accounting for up to 3% of all visits to the intensive care unit and intensive care unit. The longest case of being in a coma is considered to be the case that happened with Eduard O’Bar, who had been in a coma for 42 years. Unfortunately, the woman was not able to get out of her condition, which led to her death in 2012. Another similar incident was the incident with Terry Wallace, who spent in a coma for about 17 years. Miraculously surviving after a car accident, the man fell into a coma, which, fortunately for Wallace's relatives, successfully ended, and Terry himself fully recovered in the shortest possible time.

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To give hope to those in a comapatients, in one of the experiments of American researchers, special electrodes were implanted into the brain of experimental monkeys, which allowed scientists to conduct one of the methods of deep brain stimulation. To carry out the manipulation, scientists had to implant special devices into the animal brain that sent electrical impulses to the area of ​​the central lateral thalamus. As it turned out, stimulation of this area of ​​the brain allowed the monkeys to open their eyes, move their limbs and bodies. In addition, according to the source, during the experiment even the vital signs of the animals changed, which make up the body temperature, heart rate and the pulse of a living being. Be that as it may, immediately after the cessation of stimulation, the monkeys again plunged into a coma.

Deep brain stimulation performed well when monkeys returned from coma

Researchers are sure that although it’s possiblepractical application of the results of the experiment should take several more years, the first steps in creating a brain implant for the return of patients from coma have already been taken. To further improve the technology, scientists will need to conduct additional tests on monkeys, the results of which will allow specialists to see if animals can perform more complex tasks under the influence of intense brain stimulation.

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After the animal tests have been completed and the treatment has been deemed effective, the technology of awakening from a coma can be tested for the first time in humans.