(Daily Mail) - A 25-year-old man has become the first coma patient to regain consciousness without life-threatening surgery. The man, who has not been identified, had his brain jump-started with new ultrasound technology in an experiment by UCLA. Within days of waking up, he was fully conscious, responding to questions, and even gave his doctor a fist-bump. It is the first time such an approach has been used to treat severe brain injury.
The procedure marks a significant step in medical understanding that could save and transform millions of lives. 'Until now, the only way to achieve [brain function] was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted directly inside the thalamus,' said lead author Dr Martin Monti, UCLA professor of neurosurgery.
'Our approach directly targets the thalamus but is noninvasive. 'It's almost as if we were jump-starting the neurons back into function.' CONTINUE