Magnet Coil Could Help Doctors To Detect A Person's Consciousness
Aug 16, 2013 19:24
New research has discovered that active neural pathways in the brain can be stimulated by holding a magnetic coil up to a patient's skull, which could help determine if a person is truly brain dead or just paralyzed.
This technique involves measuring how much of the brain responded to this electrical impulse based on a zero-to-one scale. A score higher than 0.44 indicates consciousness, while readings below 0.31 indicates an unconscious brain. This method would give doctors a reliable tool to determine what's going on in a paralyzed or unconscious patient's brain.
This is particularly good news for those suffering from locked-in syndrome, which is when a person with a fully functioning
brain is trapped in a completely paralyzed body. It could also help revolutionize the ability to better treat things like stroke and traumatic brain injury.