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Friday, March 9, 2007

Coma Patient Awake Briefly

A woman who has been in a coma for nearly six years briefly awoke for about three days before slipping back into her comatose state. Doctors are saying this is unprecedented, but I have heard of at least one other case and it wasn't so long ago. Also an American, the man had been in a coma for years, but then awoke for a few days before going back into one - and this was just a few years back, if that!

At any rate, the woman was able to tell her mother that she was fine and she felt okay. She said she learning to talk was the hardest part, but eating was easy. She even gave a local TV station an interview before going back into her coma.

I think this a great opportunity for doctors to learn more about comatose patients, the very state itself, and much more - if they seize it! I'm particularly interested in what it is that causes this state, specifically in this woman's case. It seems to go without saying that it has something to do with the brain, but what exactly? Could it be an emotional response to something traumatic in her past, or even her own mind shutting itself down to protect her from some damage - real or imagined? Could it be an altered state of consciousness or an actual physical defect or factor?

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