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Technologies that help people socialize and rehabilitate after long-term comas

September 28, 2019

A coma is a medical emergency. Swift action is needed to preserve life and brain function. Doctors normally order a battery of blood tests and a brain CT scan to try to determine what's causing the coma so that proper treatment can begin.
A coma seldom lasts longer than several weeks. People who are unconscious for a longer period of time may transition to a persistent vegetative state.
Cardiac operations
One of the technologies that doctors are using cardiac operations to respond verbal communications after coma associated with postoperative stroke.
fMRI have not only detected normal patterns of brain activation, but by allowing the patient to imagine either a tennis match (meaning a yes answer to the question) or a walk (signifying a no answer), the patients have even been able to establish a crude means of communication.
Another promising treatment in a few MCS patients has been the use of zolpidem. Although zolpidem is usually used as a sleeping aid, in a few cases it has been found to “wake up” patients in MCS temporarily, allowing them reproducibly to perform better on cognitive tasks. The mechanism by which either amantidine or zolpidem works is not understood, but both require further attention.

There are several new treatments applied to patients who have been in coma for long terms in order to bring them back to communication and to socialize. Also through such treatments patients get better outcome.

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