Some time ago we wrote about the successes of scientists in the field of application of this method therapies, such as neurostimulation. But, as it turned out, the long-known approach can be a lot of useful applications. For example, not so long ago a group of researchers from the University of Birmingham (UK) suggested the use of non-invasive brain stimulation for the rehabilitation of patients who are in a vegetative state.
How neurostimulation can help in the treatment of patients?
For starters, let’s clarify what is a vegetative state. If you think of the word “coma”, you almost guessed. The vegetative state of the brain — is the lack of mental activity of the cerebral hemispheres (due to damage, for example), while maintaining activities of certain sites, which is manifested most often by preservation of a number of reflexes.
Very soon, non-invasive brain stimulation should be tested for the first time along with advanced imaging of the brain in a number of patients in vegetative condition. The study is based on the promising results of the health Centre of the human brain at the University of Birmingham. The ultimate goal of this work is to better understand how brain stimulation can be used to improve the rehabilitation of patients with a prolonged disorder of consciousness. Do you believe in the promise of such technology? Voice your opinion in our official chat in Telegram.
Now scientists will be working with five patients with a prolonged disorder of consciousness, in the territory of the hospital of Wellington to explore, as a form of brain stimulation called transcranial stimulation (i.e. without opening the skull) and the impact of direct current will affect the brain of patients.
To head people attach special electrodes and using DC will try to stimulate areas of the brain responsible for manifestation of consciousness and conscious motor activity. — says one of the authors Dr. Davinia Fernandez-Espejo. Different areas of our brain needs to have good communications between them to perform the necessary functions. Finding the correct ways to stimulate this network of neurons, we can “improve” connections, helping the brain to compensate for damaged road.
Of course, the stimulation will be of small duration sessions, between which the patients will be under strict supervision. Will be recorded not only the performance of the brain and functions of the Central nervous system, but they will also be undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which detects changes in blood flow while measuring activity in various areas of the brain.
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The latest study is the first step in the study of new methods of diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of prolonged disorders of consciousness and vegetative States. If successful, future experiment with five patients, the researchers aimed to deploy more large-scale clinical trials, in which they will seek such patients throughout the UK. And if such a large group method proves effective, then you can safely say that one is not the most pleasant condition with which the person can face, defeated.