Man in Vegetative State Uses MRI to Communicate

Doctors in Belgium have discovered brain activity in a car crash victim previously thought to be in a vegetative state. In a study in Cambridge, UK, and Liege, Belgium, doctors tested 54 patients with disorders of consciousness. The group was comprised of 23 people in a vegetative state and 31 in a minimally conscious state. Of the group, five showed some brain activity and additional bedside testing showed some sign of awareness.

However, one of the patients managed to answer a series of yes or no questions using the MRI machine. Asked a series of six questions (such as, "Is your father's name Thomas?"), the patient was asked to think of one type of imagery for 'yes' and another for 'no.' brain activity on the MRI matched that of a control patient.

Read more on the New England Journal of Medicine.