Join the club for FREE to access the whole archive and other member benefits.

Ultrasound therapy restores consciousness in coma patients

Low intensity ultrasonic stimulation of brain successfully worked on 2 more patients


Key points from article :

Ultrasound to "jump start" a patient out of a coma.

Coffee cup saucer-sized device delivers low-intensity pulses to the thalamus.

Thalamus acts as the brain's central processing hub and is weakened in coma patients.

After receiving the treatment, a 25-year-old coma patient was now fully awake.

A 56-year-old man in a minimally conscious state was able to raise a bottle to his mouth, use a pen and paper, and verbally communicate.

A 50-year-old woman in a less conscious state was able to recognize objects such as a comb and a pencil.

Ultrasound device was placed on the side of patient's head, activating 10 times for 30 seconds each within a 10-minute period.

Treatment is safe and produces no unwanted side effects.

"...both exhibited meaningful responses within just a few days of the intervention," Martin Monti, co-author of the study.

A portable version could be routinely used in hospitals or even in patients' homes.

Research by UCLA published in the journal Brain Stimulation.

Mentioned in this article:

Click on resource name for more details.

Brain Stimulation

Peer reviewed open access medical journal

Martin M. Monti

Professor in Department of Psychology, UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Public land-grant research university

Topics mentioned on this page:
Mental Health