(Mirror Daily, United States) Coma patients have a very delicate situation and few chances of being again like they used to be. It is only possible through surgery, which is a riskful procedure. Now a recent discovery in the medical field gives new hope to patients, their families and doctors alike: it is an ultrasound technique which can revive patients brains.
UCLA doctors have recently discovered the ultrasound technique, which helps them “jump-start” the brain of coma patients. They have already tested it with a 25 years old patient, and the results were visible within only three days. The young man woke up and communicated with his doctors. He was able to understand and perceive the messages around him, and answer with “yes” or “no” by nodding and shaking his head.
According to TechTimes, this is how the ultrasound technique works:
“The technique involves exciting the neurons of thalamus with the help of sonic stimulations. Thalamus is a small oval shaped structure in the brain that is crucial for processing variety of information. The brain stimulation of patients in vegetative state or those recovering from coma is usually done by implanting electrodes inside thalamus surgically.”
Researchers at UCLA are very pleased with the results. Martin Monti, who is psychology and neurosurgery professor, was also the leader of the team of researchers. In a press release, he stated the following:
“It’s almost as if we were jump-starting the neurons back into function. “Until now, the only way to achieve this was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted directly inside the thalamus. Our approach directly targets the thalamus but is noninvasive.”
Another member of the team was co-author Alexander Bystritsky.
As stated above, the ultrasound technique is a massive breakthrough in the medical field, as there is no need for surgery for coma patients anymore.
Professor Martin Monti further added:
“It is possible that we were just very lucky and happened to have stimulated the patient just as he was spontaneously recovering. The changes were remarkable.”
The recovery of the 25 years patient through this technique was a premiere for doctors. As it was a success, they intend to use it with other patients as well.
A study was also written, documenting on the ultrasound technique destined to reactivate the brains of coma patients. It can be found in Brain Stimulation (journal).
Image courtesy of: Flickr