Ultrasound waves wake a patient out of his coma

A team of neuroscientists and physicists joined forces to jump-start a patient’s brain out of a medically induced coma with ultrasound waves—and it worked, STAT reports. The scientists bombarded the thalamus, a region of the brain that’s been shown to affect consciousness, with the waves using an experimental device about the size of a teacup saucer. After waking, the patient recovered faster than anyone predicted—in 4 months instead of 6—and gave his doctors a fist bump on the way out. The scientists, who wrote a case study in the journal Brain Stimulation, will continue to test the technique to help patients in vegetative states.

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