Man in vegetative state for a decade communicates for the first time

Scott Routley is a 39 year old severely brain-injured Canadian man has been in a vegetative state and unable to communicate for more than a decade following a car accident 12 years ago.

Recently Mr Routley is causing medical textbooks to be rewritten.

Mr Routley’s doctor Professor Adrian Owen scanned his brain activity using an MRI machine. Prof Owen asked Mr Routly questions which he showed was choosing to respond and was able to tell his doctor he is not in pain.

It is the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-injured patient has been able to give answers clinically relevant to their care.

“This is the first time that we have asked a patient a question in the scanner that is actually relevant to their clinical condition,”  Professor Adrian Owen said.

Professor Owen says the scan results overturn all the behavioural assessments that have been made over the years.

Original article is available at the ABC.

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