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 August 27, 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 August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) — The World Health Organization called Tuesday on governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) — A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) — A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) — A British nurse infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone is being given the same experimental drug used on two US missionaries who have recovered for the disease, doctors in London say. Duration: 00:44 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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