Man woke up from a coma after ultrasound waves were beamed into his brain


A 25-year-old man in a coma may have had his recovery kickstarted after researchers 'excited' his brain tissue with ultrasound pulses.
The man was showing minimal signs of being conscious and understanding speech before the treatment, but a day after scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) beamed ultrasound waves into his brain, his responses improved measurably. Three days later he regained full consciousness and language comprehension.
Researchers targeted the patient’s thalamus – the part of the brain that regulates consciousness – with low-intensity pulses of ultrasound energy. This excited the neutrons in his thalamus and, the researchers believe, triggered the man’s brain to 'wake up'.
"Until now, the only way to achieve this was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted directly inside the thalamus," said Martin Monti, the study’s lead author. "Our approach directly targets the thalamus but is noninvasive," he said.

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