Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patients Who Recover From Coma But Cannot Communicate Feel Pain

Date:
October 6, 2008
Source:
University of Liège
Summary:
Do patients who survive a severe brain injury but fail to recover speech or non-verbal communication perceive pain? After their remarkable publication where they showed that a patient in a vegetative state in reality was conscious, scientists in Belgium were able to tackle the very difficult issue of pain perception in coma survivors.

The brain activation in pain in patients in a state of minimal consciousness is comparable to that observed in healthy subjects. The yellow circle shows the earlier cingulate cortex which is crucial in the perception of emotional pain.
Credit: Copyright Steven Laureys, Coma Science Group, Université de Liège

Do patients who survive a severe brain injury but fail to recover speech or non-verbal communication perceive pain? After their remarkable publication where they showed that a patient in a vegetative state in reality was conscious, scientists at the University of Liège (ULg) were able to tackle the very difficult issue of pain perception in coma survivors.

The Coma Science Group of the Cyclotron Research Centre and Neurology Department of the ULg used PET scanning to measure minimally conscious and vegetative patients’ brain activation in response to noxious stimulation.

After comparing results obtained in the different patient groups with those in healthy volunteers who could communicate it felt painful they concluded that minimally conscious patients must feel pain despite being unable to tell their environment. Hence, these patients should receive pain-killers, the authors concluded.

This study has major ethical and therapeutical consequences also with regard to end-of-life decisions in these challenging but vulnerable patient populations.

The study was led by Pr Steven Laureys from the Coma Science Group of the University of Liège and will be published in October in the journal Lancet Neurology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liège. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Adrian M. Owen, Martin R. Coleman, Melanie Boly, Matthew H. Davis, Steven Laureys, and John D. Pickard. Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State. Science, 2006; 313 (5792): 1402 DOI: 10.1126/science.1130197
  2. Mélanie Boly, Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville, Caroline Schankers, Philippe Peigneux, Bernard Lambermont, Christophe Philipps, Patrizio Lancellotti, André Luxen, Maurice Lamy, Gustave Moonen, Pierre Maquet, Steven Laureys. Perception of pain in the minimally conscious state with PET activation: an observational study. The Lancet Neurology, Published online October 6, 2008 DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70220-5

Cite This Page:

University of Liège. "Patients Who Recover From Coma But Cannot Communicate Feel Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006093039.htm>.
University of Liège. (2008, October 6). Patients Who Recover From Coma But Cannot Communicate Feel Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006093039.htm
University of Liège. "Patients Who Recover From Coma But Cannot Communicate Feel Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006093039.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins