Neurology Central

Signs of hidden consciousness detected after brain injury

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A recent study has determined that nearly one in seven patients with brain injury in the ICU demonstrate evidence of hidden consciousness just days after their injury. According to the researchers, individuals with these signs are more likely to recover.

In the study, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a machine-learning technique was used to analyze standard EEG data that had been collected from patients to look for patient-specific brain activity that could indicate that they understand instructions to move their hands.

“Though our study is small, it suggests that EEG – a tool that’s readily available at the patient’s bedside in the ICU in almost any hospital across the globe – has the potential to completely change how we manage patients with acute brain injury,” commented Jan Claassen (Columbia University, NY, USA), lead author of the study.

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