I read recently of a possible breakthrough in the treatment of brain-damaged victims with great interest.
A Canadian man who suffered significant brain injuries as a result of a road traffic accident and who was believed to be in a vegetative state for more then 12 years has recently been able to converse with researchers.
Astonishingly, a British Neuroscientist, Professor Owen and his team through their research have shown that the Canadian man who despite being unable to show emotional response, having no fixation or following with his eyes as well as no spontaneous movements clinically, does have a conscious thinking mind.
By using functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scans and tracking the flow of blood in the brain the Canadian has been shown to be able to answer yes or no to questions put to him.
Such a breakthrough could be used to substantially improve the quality of life of catastrophically brain damaged patients. Professor Owen points out that through using this technique patients suffering from brain damage could be able to make decision on simple things such as what type of entertainment is provided and what times of day a patient is washed or fed.
For many brain damaged patients the cost of receiving this type of treatment would prohibit them from doing so which is why their compensation is often so valuable to them. In these circumstances compensation is critical to give the individual the best possible quality of .life following their accident and allow them access to treatment such as this which could make such a drastic difference to their day to day life.