A man with severe brain injuries who spent six years in a near-vegetative state can now chew his food, watch a movie and talk with family thanks to a brain pacemaker that may change the way such patients are treated, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old man is the first person in a minimally conscious state to be treated with deep-brain stimulation, a treatment that uses a pacemaker and two electrodes to send impulses into a part of the brain regulating consciousness.
His awakening may change the way doctors think about people with severe brain injuries, who are largely unresponsive but still have some level of consciousness. These patients typically spend the rest of their lives in nursing homes, with little efforts at rehabilitation and slim chance of recovery.
i can’t decide if this changes how i feel about the whole issue.
course, i never decided how i felt about it in the first place.
this is encouraging news though.
it also reinforces the idea of “it’s not that i have a brain. i am a brain.”