Thursday, September 07, 2006

Entering the Twilight Zone

Although the article in Wired this month about altering PVS (persistent vegetative state) patients consciouness' from persistent to minimal or more is entitled "Back from the Dead", I think a more appropriate title might be "Entering the Twilight Zone". Writer Gary Greenberg attempts to tackle the "moral chaos" that might arise if, in fact, we might be able to restore varying degrees of consciousness to PVS patients with a 'brain shock":

A small but passionate group of doctors say that electricity applied deep in the brain can jolt patients out of irreversible comas. That's when the real problems begin.

By Gary Greenberg

For someone left for dead 12 years ago, Candice Ivey seems to be doing pretty well. She's still got her homecoming queen looks and A-student smarts. She has earned a college degree and holds a job as a recreational therapist in a retirement community. She has, however, lost her ballerina grace and now walks a bit like her feet are asleep. She slurs her words a little, too, which sometimes leads to trouble. "One time I got pulled over," she says in her North Carolina twang. "The cop looked at me and said, 'What have you been drinking?' I said, 'Nothing.' He said, 'Get out here and walk the line.' I was staggering all over the place. He said, 'All right, blow into this.' Of course I blew a zero, and he had to let me go." (To read the rest of the article, click here.)

1 comment:

Edwin Cooper MDy said...

Thanks for reviewing Dr. Greenberg's article "Back From the Dead" in the September Wired.

May I email you a detailed article from the UK, "Electrical treatment of reduced consciousness"? It discussed median nerve stimulation for brain injury and Alzheimer's Disease.
Edwin Cooper, MD