Tag: eeg

Conscious or Not? Brain Responses Bring Scientists Closer to Making a Diagnosis in the Brain-Damaged

By Ashley P. Taylor | October 22, 2012 12:58 pm

spacing is important

When a brain-damaged person seems unresponsive, the uncertainty is excruciating. Is the person in a vegetative state, awake but not conscious, or are they minimally conscious, still retaining some shreds of awareness?  Scientists can now distinguish between people in vegetative and minimally conscious states by measuring brain waves, a Belgian research team announced at the Society for Neuroscience conference last week, which could lead to a more clear-cut, objective way to make the diagnosis.
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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain

Can Brain Scans Diagnose Autism?

By Valerie Ross | June 16, 2011 3:32 pm

What’s the News: A number of recent studies have suggested that brain scans could be used to diagnose autism. Virginia Hughes investigated these claims in a report for the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. While some researchers feel these tests could soon be ready for the clinic, she found, others feel that relying on the scans for diagnosis is at least premature, and perhaps entirely misguided. Some important points in her report:

How the Would-Be Autism Tests Work:

  • The studies have focused on a variety of possible indicators of autism and used several types of scans: measuring activation of brain regions as people do or experience particular things; examining neural anatomy; tracing connectivity between parts of the brain; and analyzing the electrical activity produced by neurons firing.
  • All the scans, however, have one central goal: picking out reliable, predictive differences between the brains of children with autism and unaffected children.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain
MORE ABOUT: autism, diagnosis, eeg, fMRI, MRI

How Brains React to Sound Can Separate Conscious From Vegetative Patients

By Valerie Ross | May 13, 2011 2:42 pm

What’s the News: A non-invasive test that measures brain waves could help doctors better diagnose whether a patient is truly in a vegetative state, according to a preliminary study published today in Science. What’s more, the results suggest that a particular pathway of communication in the brain is disrupted in vegetative patients but not patients with somewhat less severe brain damage—which could not only improve diagnosis, but help researchers better understand these tragic conditions.

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