Thursday, February 24, 2011

Locked-in but not unhappy

The Associated Press Posted: Feb 24, 2011:

You are awake, aware and probably unable to move or talk, but you are not necessarily unhappy, says the largest study of locked-in syndrome.

A surprising number of patients with the condition say they are happy, despite being paralyzed and having to communicate mainly by moving their eyes. Most cases are caused by major brain damage, often sustained in traumatic accidents.

As part of the study published in this week's online journal BMJ Open, Dr. Steven Laureys of the Coma Science Group at the University Hospital of Liege in Belgium and colleagues sent questionnaires to 168 members of the French Association for Locked-in Syndrome, asking them about their medical history, their emotional state and views on euthanasia.

Sixty-five patients used a scale to indicate their sense of well-being, with 47 saying they were happy and 18 unhappy. They were also asked a variety of questions about their lives, including their ability to get around or participate in social functions, or if they had ever considered euthanasia.

Only a handful of patients said they often had suicidal thoughts. Read more>>

See also: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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