Successfully trying to communicate with patients with "traumatic syndrome" that "body can not move at all while consciousness and sensation are alive" "alive and happy"



Even though the sense is normal and consciousness is clear, all but the eye movement and blinkingVoluntary movementI can not do itConfinement syndromeIt was reported that communication with the patient was enabled by brain scan. When asking the patient "I am alive and happy?", I heard that the answer "Yes" came back.

Brain-Computer Interface-Based Communication in the Completely Locked-In State
http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002593

Reached Via a Mind-Reading Device, Deeply Paralyzed Patients Say They Want to Live
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603512/reached-via-a-mind-reading-device-deeply-paralyzed-patients-say-they-want-to-live

After years of being "locked in," patients communicate, say they are happy | Ars Technica
https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/after-years-of-being-locked-in-patients-communicate-say-theyre-happy/

Groundbreaking system allows locked-in syndrome patients to communicate | Science | The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/31/groundbreaking-system-allows-locked-in-syndrome-patients-to-communicate-als


Patients with confinement syndrome usually become bedridden and can not communicate with the outside because they can not talk or move limbs despite normal consciousness and sensation.

However, a research team headed by Niels Birbaumer, a neuroscientist at Tubingen, Eberhard Karl University in Germany, made possible communication with the patient by using devices that measure EEG and blood flow. In the study,Amyotrophic lateral sclerosisAn attempt was made to install a device to four patients whose body was paralyzed by the ALS and ask questions and ask them to answer with "yes" or "no". Then, when asked about geographical questions such as 'What is Paris the capital of Germany?', Questions about the family's name, etc., and questions such as "Are you alive and happy?", Check the answers of all four patients It was said that it succeeded in particular.

Birbaumer et al.'s research, which aimed to communicate with patients with confinement syndrome, began in 1999. In previous studies, patients with ALS who can move the eyeballBrain machine interfaceThere was a method of communicating with using, and a method of measuring the blood flow and brain waves of a patient who can move a part of the body and communicating with each other was established. However, I was not successful in communicating with a patient who can not move my body at all.

In a new approach, the research team conducted electroencephalographyNear infrared spectroscopyAnd develop a device to measure blood oxygen level and brain electrical activity. Then, I decoded what the data measured by the brain machine interface is "yes" for the patient and what is "no". At this time, 70% of the patients' responses measured were consistent.


After doing some fixed questions, the researchers made free questions such as "You feel pain on your back", "It is fun to live", "There is little to be sad". Then, although it is in a state that it can not move for many years, 3 out of 4 patients showed the will to "be happy to live and love life". The other one is said that this question was not made by the will of the family. By the way, there were patients who answered "No" when asked, "Do you mind that your daughter marries a boyfriend?

Of course, since there are four subjects, we need to conduct further investigation in the future, but Birbaumer says that the relief of the family who knew the answer "I am alive and happy" is immeasurable.

in Science, Posted by logq_fa