Coma and unresponsive states

Got a great idea? Tell the world about it here.

Moderators: mvs_staff, forum_admin, Marilyn

Coma and unresponsive states

Postby tvelection » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:09 pm

When some people have had brain damage they are left in a state of vegetative unawareness. There has to be a way to “awaken” them. First is a brain scan to see if there is any kind of thought or dreaming, maybe by a thorough MRI (or EKG pads) to see what kind of activity there is, do they have REM sleep or any “sleep” are they thinking? I had read a few years ago, that counter-intuitively, certain medications designed to cause drowsiness actually showed promise in waking some patients.

Short of very specialized medicines and highly technical methods I have some ideas even if they are naïve. Sometimes naive ideas work when we still don’t know why.
I’d like to see some very basic experiments that deal with sensory stimulation:

(1) Headphones with music, specifically music the person would be very familiar with.
(a) Also binaural beats and frequencies
(b) Strike a tuning fork and press the handle end to the top of the head
(2) An alarm clock or barking dog, a baby crying, sounds that many understand subconsciously as they awaken. I doubt some of these but that’s no reason not to try.
(3) Touch stimulation maybe intensive physical therapy in the sense that a therapist lifts and bends the patient's arms and legs to get those muscles and nerves stimulated and blood-flow changed.
(4) Smell, from tanning lotion, vapo-rub, flowers, pine, perfume, candy, etc.
(5) Very mild electric shocks focused on the most effective parts of the brain (a kind of reverse EKG) or applied to the spine.
(6) A tickle which usually causes a reflex responses, sit them up and test the knee reflex. Do their pupils dilate?
(7) A bombardment of the sensory input, music, touch, scent, talk, all at once.
(8) Alcohol, caffeine, dopamine, synthetic oxycotin, or THC, to try to alter the patient’s (person’s) consciousness to see if that may re-stimulate their system.
(9) Strobe lights over closed or open eyes . . . or blue light or red light.
(10) Stimulate taste with a small amount of sugar flavored liquid, if it can be done without risk of choking, maybe with a quick shot then suction.
(11) As for familiar voices, speech and questions, that may help ---but I’m sure that has been tried just from natural visitations from others over the years. The question is can they even hear or is that audio-nerve shut down somewhat like a sleeper, maybe sound has no effect?
(12) Mild intravenous steroids.
(13) A shot of adrenaline.

Any other ideas?

I’m not saying any of these will work, but why not try mild experiments with proper consent from families? There are more non-invasive ideas, no doubt, maybe go through about 20 ideas on different patients and just see. Then each attempt can be ruled out, at least for that patient. The MRI is important; we have to see what stimulates such a dormant mind. Obviously the nervous system is at issue with this problem even though basic body functions are sustainable some disconnect, some mystery, is needed to re-stimulate them to consciousness. I believe the hypothalamus is an important area for stimulating activity, . . . remembered from a biology text. Ultimately though, medical science needs to find the different causes of these comatose states (sometimes it may be irreversible brain damage from oxygen deprivation ---but even then the brain is resilient in reorganizing functions) as our understanding of the functioning of the brain increases.
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:44 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Return to Great Ideas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests