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Minimally conscious states: Brainwaves can show if people will recover


In a first small test, the brainwaves of people in a minimally conscious state changed in a characteristic way when given an anaesthetic, showing whether they were likely to recover



Health



19 November 2021

Medical nurse cares about patient in ICU.

An EEG can detect characteristic brainwaves that suggest whether people in a state of impaired consciousness may recover

sudok1/Getty Images

A new type of test may be able to predict if people who enter a state of impaired consciousness after a brain injury will eventually recover.

The test, which involves seeing how people’s brainwaves respond to a general anaesthetic, was highly accurate when carried out on 12 people in a state of impaired consciousness – but now it needs to be trialled on more such people.

People who are in a coma after …



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