People in Nevada who have incurred a brain injury and seem unconscious may still have brains that are active. This is according to researchers who used electroencephalography, or EEG, to examine brain-injured patients for indications of brain activity. The study they conducted found that 15% of the patients who were examined had lingering brain activity even though they were unable to move or talk.

EEG is routinely used to make diagnoses of certain brain disorders, including epilepsy. However, according to the study, EEG recordings are useful in detecting preserved consciousness in patients who have sustained a severe brain injury and are unresponsive. Using EEG in this manner may help physicians determine if comatose, brain-injured patients will be able to wake and can help provide pertinent information regarding the administering of life support.

According to a medical expert who did not participate in the research, the study and its results may impact clinical practice. The fact that EEG can be performed at the bedside of patients makes it possible for it to be widely used in ICUs.

In the study, the researchers used EEG to assess the brain function of 104 patients who had sustained acute brain injuries and who were not able to react to verbal commands. Ten healthy volunteers underwent EEG to serve as controls. All subjects were played a selection of simple verbal directions via headphones; the instructions included prompts for opening and closing each hand, and the researchers monitored brain activity.

An attorney who practices personal injury law may work to obtain financial recourse for clients who have sustained a brain injury due to the negligence of another party. Lawsuits may be filed against the parties responsible for birth injuries, car and truck accidents or sports-related injuries that resulted in traumatic brain injuries.