(Live Science) Some patients in a coma or vegetative state after brain injury show signs of "hidden consciousness" that may predict their chances of getting better, a new study suggests.
In the study, the researchers used a special algorithm to analyze the brain waves of more than 100 patients who were unresponsive after brain injury. They found that, within several days of the injury, about 1 in 7 of these patients showed distinct patterns of brain activity in response to commands to move their hands. This brain activity suggested that the patients understood the commands, but couldn't perform the movements, the authors said.
What's more, patients with these signs were more likely to recover than patients who had no signs of hidden consciousness, according to the study, which is published today (June 26) in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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