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Functional MRI for Comatose Patients

For those of you not aware of the whole story, this is Terri's Fight for life: From The Guardian
Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman whose condition sparked an epic legal, medical and political battle that has gripped America, died yesterday, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by the wishes of her husband and the orders of several courts. News of her death prompted wailing and praying from supporters of her parents, who wanted to keep her alive, as both the US president, George Bush, and the Vatican expressed their concern at the circumstances of Ms Schiavo's death. Was she actually feeling anything or did she have no real consciousness?

Presently, the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is the most promising tool not only to provide better diagnosis and predict outcome of brain injuries but also to communicate with the patient. The technique enables to communicate with the patient. We can ask him questions by telling him to think of playing tennis if he wants to say "yes", or imaging to walk through his home if he wants to say "no". We then directly see the reaction of brain activity in specific areas on the monitor. This technology will probably have profound implications for management of comatose patients. What do you think?
Functional MRI for Comatose Patients Reviewed by Sumer Sethi on Monday, March 29, 2010 Rating: 5

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