Being in a coma is one of the worst situations a patient can suffer from, owing to the uncertainty that comes with it. It is even more hard for the people who have to live with the burden of not knowing if their loved ones will even wake up again.
But now, research done by scientists from the University of Copenhagen has proven that a common test can make accurate predictions about whether or not a coma patient is likely to wake up.
The test uses FDG-PET, a type of PET scan which measures how much sugar is being consumed by someone’s brain cells, to give results about their brain activity and state of consciousness.
To figure this out, the team used this test on the brains of 131 Patients with brain injuries, and then compared those results to whether or not a patient had woken up in a year’s time.
Based on this sample size, they were able to accurately predict 94% of patients who would wake up from a coma. Although this is not a large sample size, it is still enough to warrant full scale experiments.
For now, the research has been published in Current Biology, where anyone can go and read it. It will take some time before the results are verified and duplicated on a larger scale. Once that is completed, there’s a chance that this test could become a permanent tool in coma diagnosis.