Breakthrough brain injury test for measuring consciousness

Florida residents who follow medical news may be interested to hear of a new method for detecting consciousness in patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. According to a news report, a team of scientific researchers in Italy have found a way to measure the human brain’s response to a magnetic pulse. The breakthrough discovery is expected to help determine a person’s level of awareness.

Historically, determining consciousness in patients suffering from brain trauma has been a difficult challenge for health professionals. A brain-injured person normally loses the ability to blink, squeeze a hand or otherwise respond in a way that would indicate an awareness of their surroundings. Until now, brain imaging or the electrical activity of neurons has been used to distinguish if a person’s brain is in a conscious state or not. According to a spokesman for the research team, a better method was needed. The group felt that electrical activity often proved to be a false indicator.

The research team has developed a technique that involves holding a magnetic coil to the skull and measuring a response through by means of electroencephalography, or EEG. The team believes that they’ve created an effective method for measuring consciousness and unconsciousness that could be used as an objective test at the bedside.

For Florida residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting from an accident or someone’s negligence, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. Individuals suffering from brain injuries and their families may face financial and other difficulties for the rest of their lives. An attorney, through the use of experienced investigators and other experts, may be able to determine the exact causes of an injury. They may then help to determine a course of action to help recover compensation.

Source: Medical News Today, “Brain injuries: measuring consciousness by ‘perturbing the brain’“, Marie Ellis, August 16, 2013