Auditory test predicts coma awakening

Auditory test predicts coma awakening

Patients whose sound discrimination improved in 48 hours eventually awoke

By Tanya Lewis, 15:58 PM November 21, 2012

A coma patient’s chances of surviving and waking up could be predicted by changes in the brain’s ability to discriminate sounds, new research suggests.

Recovery from coma has been linked to auditory function before, but it wasn’t clear whether function depended on the time of assessment. Whereas previous studies tested patients several days or weeks after comas set in, a new study looks at the critical phase during the first 48 hours. At early stages, comatose brains can still distinguish b...

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