Study Says Patients in Minimally Conscious State can also Feel Pain

by Rajashri on  October 9, 2008 at 4:36 PM General Health News
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 Study Says Patients in Minimally Conscious State can also Feel Pain
New research says that severely brain-damaged patients in a "minimally conscious state" may still feel pain the same as healthy people.

The study of brain activity in brain-damaged patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) suggests that they could have similar pain perception to healthy people and could need painkillers.

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The study, written by Dr Steven Laureys, Coma Science Group, Cyclotron Research Center and Department of Neurology, University of Liege, Belgium, and colleagues, has been published in Lancet Neurology.

"These findings might be objective evidence of a potential pain perception capacity in patients with MCS, which supports the idea that these patients need painkilling treatment," New Scientist quoted the research team, as saying.

However, they found much less evidence that "brain-dead" coma patients in a so-called persistent vegetative state (PVS) react to pain.

The researchers discovered after taking brain scans of patients and healthy volunteers as they received mild electric shocks.

They performed the procedure on five MCS patients, 15 healthy controls and 15 "brain-dead" patients.

Patterns of brain activity were the same MCS patients and the healthy controls, who rated the pain they received as "highly unpleasant to painful".

Blood flow increased to parts of the brain that form the so-called "pain matrix", incorporating the thalamus and various parts of the cortex activated when we feel pain.

"I think it definitely means they feel pain because they activate the whole pain matrix," Laureys said.

"But what they feel is still an open question, whether they feel it the same way we do," he added.

Conversely the activity was much reduced in the PVS patients.

"The difference between patients with MCS and PVS was very striking," Laureys said.

Source: ANI

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I want to tell you that we are experiencing a quite different situation.My son Jawad Pasha was injured in 2003,We started the journey from Zero for months,He was declared later on a P V S but he is improving ,He is now much better than one called Minimally Conscious state but still no motor control.WE can call him fully Conscious state or fully aware.He now smiles, laughs , Looks shy when he should supposed to b shy,tears when very sad,however never looked angry. At the time when he supposed to be angry he looks unconcerned, Take care of his head and face a little to avoid any strike. Feels pain and shows immidiate reaction. If you are interested i can send you video.An epilepsy/Seizure or Fits history is also able to study.You can search some details on net, Thank you


I am the person who is practically crossing through different stages of brain injury,I am father of a brain injury patient Jawad Pasha.HE WAS INJURED IN A ROAD ACCIDENT IN 2004.The injury was so severe that the doctors told me that there is no chance of survival. But after many days at ventilator he started living for months on tubes breathing by neck feeding and urine,No eye opening for months than we braught him at home and started a journey our own way without any proper gauidance,We tried everywhere here at Pakistan, we also braught him Singapore but found nothing from medical side however some tips from physiotherapists and rehabilitation side were found efective especially team from University of Pretoria(S.A.)which was at Pakistan to help the Earth Quake was very helpfull and one name among them was Dr Carina Eksteen who gave attention to Jawad Pasha.He was declared a Persistent Vegetative State but due to lake of knoweldge i was considering him lodked in syndrome because after more than a year recovery was only somtime blinking eyes un yes.But by grace of god a vey slow process has taken place and he is better than a stae called as Minimally Conscious state and he is still improving.It is a long story with hope and tragedies but now concept about brain injury should must be revieved.

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