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Minimally conscious states: Brainwaves can show if people will recover



In a first small test, the brainwaves of people with impaired consciousness changed in a characteristic way when given an anaesthetic, showing whether they were likely to recover


19 November 2021

An EEG can detect characteristic brainwaves that suggest whether people in a state of impaired consciousness may recover


sudok1/Getty Images

A new type of test may be able to predict if people who enter a state of impaired consciousness after a brain injury will eventually recover.

The test, which involves seeing how people’s brainwaves respond to a general anaesthetic, was highly accurate when carried out on 12 people in a state of impaired consciousness – but now it needs to be trialled on more such people.

People who are in a coma after …


Article amended on
22 November 2021

We amended the description of the patients given the anaesthetic

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