Q&A

The Space Between Consciousness and Death

The Space Between Consciousness and Death

Hear from leading neuroscientist Adrian Owen about what happens in the brain during different states of consciousness and unconsciousness.

Q
I always thought a vegetative state meant no brain activity and a coma meant there was brain activity. What are your definitions here?
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Q
What is the difference between a coma, vegetative and minimally conscious state? How do clinicians differentiate between vegetative and minimally conscious states?
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Q
How do you differentiate a conscious brain from an unconscious one?
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pdf
2006-Owen_Science_Brevia_2006-Detecting Awareness in the
Q
Does your work give any clues about what is consciousness?
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Q
When is the brain really dead?
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Q
Can EEG be used to determine consciousness in vegetative states?
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pdf
2011 - Cruse - Lancet - Bedside detection of awareness in the vegetative state
Q
How long can you survive in a vegetative state?
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Q
What is it like to be in a coma? Do you dream?
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Q
Can people in comas hear?
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Q
Is there a way to develop communication techniques for those who are vegetative and aware?
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pdf
2010-Monti-NEJM-Willful Modulation of Brain Activity in Disorders of Consciousness
Q
Have you seen change in the treatment of the disorders of consciousness as a result of your work?
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Q
The development of medical technologies (resuscitation, artificial ventilation) has resulted in a medical system that prolongs people's lives often against the wishes of the family? What about quality of life?
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pdf
QoL
Q
How do you explain near death experiences and people's descriptions of consciousness separating from their bodies?
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Q
What areas of the brain show as active on an fMRI that indicate awareness during a vegetative state?
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Q
What indicates that a smile during a vegetative state actually has meaning behind it (as opposed to simply being fasciculation/muscle twitch)?
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Q
What is the process that the brain goes through to help someone in a vegetative state recover? And why is it commonly within 6 months?
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Q
Because we are generating more people into DoC but can't treat them, shouldn't we just leave them alone?
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Q
How is a vegetative state different from locked-in syndrome?
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