By Nancy Valko Editor’s note. This appeared at Nancy’s blog. All emphases are Nancy’s. People with severe brain injuries from accidents, strokes, illness, etc. are often in comas at first. If they don’t die or spontaneously wake up, they can progress to a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS) described as “awake but unaware” and/or a “minimally …Continue reading "Medical Experts Now Agree that Severely Brain-injured Patients are Often Misdiagnosed and May Recover"
By Xavier Symons A 35-year-old man who had been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years after a car accident has shown signs of consciousness after neurosurgeons implanted a nerve stimulator into his chest. The findings, reported this week in the journal Current Biology, suggest that “vagus nerve stimulation” (VNS)—a treatment already in use for …Continue reading "Coma victims, PVS patients, and “waking the dead”"
By Dave Andrusko If there is anything we’ve learned in the last decade about the adaptability and recuperative powers of the human brain it is that the “givens” about how the brain responds to massive injury continue to fall, one by one. Near the top of the list is that if a patient has been …Continue reading "Nerve stimulation restores consciousness to Frenchman who had been in a “persistent vegetative state” for 15 years"
By Wesley Smith Ever since Terri Schiavo, writing about the wrongness of removing feeding tubes from patients diagnosed with persistent unconsciousness (PVS)–we should never call them “vegetables,” a term as denigrating and dehumanizing a racial epithet–is like spitting in the wind. But, what the heck. As mentioned above, such patients are often dehydrated to death …Continue reading "Persistently unconscious patient awakened after receiving pioneering therapy"
By Dave Andrusko Our faithful readers know that we have posted many, many accounts not only of the recovery of individual patients in a so-called Persistent Vegetative State but also about how researchers are demonstrating how common it is to mis-categorize severely brain-injured patients as being in a PVS. Of the former dimension–recovery–the best overview …Continue reading "Doggedly fighting the PVS dogma"
By Dave Andrusko Few topics intrigue me more than why “trends” develop, or, better put, why “givens” that have gone essentially unchallenged suddenly begin to lose their authority. We’ve written about many of them at NRL News Today, including the ever-so-gradual-acknowledgement found in corners of the Media Establishment that aborting a child who has been …Continue reading "Brain-death, PVS, and Medical misdiagnoses"
By Wesley J. Smith Count on the media to miss the obvious angle when it comes to the culture of death. The story of Martin Pistorius–believed falsely to have been unconscious for 12 years–is all over the mainstream media. NPR is typical: His parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorius, were told that he was as …Continue reading "Media Fails to Connect PVS Dehydration Dots"
By Dave Andrusko Last week the UK Independent newspaper published an article written by Science Editor Steve Connor, exploring a fascinating study by scientists at Cambridge University which found “Severely brain-damaged patients in a persistent vegetative state may be capable of being consciously aware of the outside world.” It is the latest in many …Continue reading "Study by Cambridge researchers finds ‘hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in patients said to be in a persistent vegetative state"
By Dave Andrusko Earlier today we posted a story about how researchers at Cambridge found ‘hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in patients said to be in a persistent vegetative state. It is just the latest reminder that often times we don’t know what we don’t know—that is, the interior lives of patients said to …Continue reading "Woman thought to be in PVS makes full recovery, had been talk of taking her off of life support"
By Dave Andrusko For those follow NRL News Today, the name Adrian Owen will probably ring a bell. He has done some of the most spectacular work, demonstrating that some patients supposedly in a “persistent vegetative state’ (PVS) are actually aware. We last talked about this in December. Scott Routley had been diagnosed to …Continue reading "Supposedly “vegetative” man responds to Hitchcock Thriller"
By Dave Andrusko Thankfully, whenever there is another study that proves yet again that we over-categorize severely brain-injured patients as being in a PVS, there is coverage not only of the original investigation but also what the study means—its larger context. We’ve written about last week’s dramatic study reported in The Lancet and the …Continue reading "Three scientists doggedly fight the PVS dogma"
By Dave Andrusko A study published last Tuesday in the medical journal “The Lancet” finds that “significant number of people labeled vegetative had received an incorrect diagnosis and actually had some degree of consciousness and the potential to improve,” according to Denise Grady of the New York Times. The results of the study, lead …Continue reading "Lancet study shows patients incorrectly diagnosed in a PVS"