We're delighted to announce that our project titled "The prognostic and diagnostic utility of electrophysiological markers of speech processing in post-traumatic coma and prolonged disorders of consciousness" has been funded by the Medical Research Council. This 3-year project will investigate a hierarchy of electroencephalography (EEG) markers of residual consciousness and cognition in acute post-traumatic coma (i.e. ~1-week post-injury), and subsequently follow these patients through the evolution of their condition.
The more accurate methods of prognosis that come from this research will result in more appropriate provision of limited rehabilitation resources post-coma, thereby reducing healthcare costs. The more accurate methods of diagnosis of prolonged disorders of consciousness that come from this research will ensure that no aware patient is misdiagnosed as unaware, thereby profoundly influencing the lives of patients and their families/caregivers. From a scientific perspective, this research will contribute to our understanding of how the meaning of speech is represented in our brains, and the ways in which the human brain supports consciousness.
Watch this space for updates on the project!