Vegetative-state patient responds to therapy

Source: BBC News

Brain scanImage copyrightCORAZZOL ET AL
Image captionTests show the man’s brain activity before (L) and after (R) the treatment

A man in France has regained some degree of consciousness after being in a vegetative state for 15 years.

Doctors treated the 35-year-old, injured in a car accident, with an experimental therapy that involved implanting a nerve stimulator into his chest.

Within a month, he could respond to simple instructions, turning his head and following an object with his eyes.

Experts say the results are potentially very exciting, but need repeating.

Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) may not work as effectively in patients with different patterns of brain damage.

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