This is a wonderful story of a stellar but humble professor, who by power of intellect and stature of character has broken through barriers his entire career. It is no surprise that Dr. Stringer was able to attract and train such a such a student. These are the people who elevate us all to a better place
This report of a 35-year-old man who had a severe traumatic brain injury and had been in coma, found that stimulation of the brain by stimulating the vagus nerve could bring him to a state of awareness.
While removed from a state of unresponsiveness to an ability to follow objects with his eyes, and turn his head when asked, he demonstrated no ability to communicate to the medical staff, or care for himself.
This story is an intriguing display of the ability to use new techniques to improve the function of the brain. However, as one who cares for those with such injuries, I felt an immediate concern for the patient and the family. In cases where I have assisted in advancing patients to a level of awareness, without the ability to interact with the environment, I have wondered whether the quality of life was in fact harmed.
These have been among my more troubling moments as a doctor.
We will have to wait and see whether such advances can be refined to allow patient to move beyond constant medical care and rejoin their families.
What first occurred to me is that Aaron Hernandez was genetically vulnerable.
What that means is while he seemed far too young to have brain damage this advanced, the reality is that some people are simply at greater risk.
It’s a sad reality that this vulnerability wasn’t understood until autopsy.As we study further, we hope to be able to identify those like Aaron, before it’s too late