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Study Focuses on Role Family Can Play in Brain Injury Recovery


Posted on behalf of Mark F. Griffin of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Feb 26, 2015 in Brain Injuries

There is no question that a brain injury is one of the most serious injuries that someone could face. While in some cases individuals can recover fairly quickly, other times it can take longer. Some even end up in a coma for a period of time. Throughout the years various approaches to treating the condition have been tried, some with better results than others. A new study focuses on the role that loved ones talking to someone who is in a coma plays in their recovery. 

The study, which was published last month in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, focused on a total of 15 patients who suffered brain injuries that left them in minimally conscious or vegetative state. Approximately 70 days following the brain injury’s occurrence, recordings of loved ones were played four times a day. This continued for a total of six weeks. The recordings were of family members relaying stories familiar to the victims that they would have stored in their long-term memories.

Researchers found that those stories being told in the voices of family members exercised parts of the brain having to do with long-term memories and in turn, triggered an awareness in the patients. This awareness may lead to the patients being able to do things such as:

  • Be more aware of surroundings
  • Wake more easily
  • Being responding to directions and conversations

These are all things that are necessary to participate actively in occupational, speech and physical therapy.

The results of the study are likely encouraging to those involved and their loved ones.

The people who were included in the study were hurt in a variety of situations including assaults and motorcycle accidents. Depending on the specifics surrounding each of those incidents it is possible that personal injury lawsuits could have been filed in connection with the situations that resulted in them being there.