NOV 22, 2017 02:23 PM PST

So you're in a coma...

1 1 78

Though the science behind comas is greatly disputed, there are some things we know for certain. The word coma comes from the Greek term for a state of sleep and refers to when your body is impaired from conscious action. When a person is in a coma, they are alive and can sometimes even breathe on their own, but will not be able to respond to stimuli like light, sound, or touch. While the brain of a comatose person is active at a base level, you certainly aren't doing much thinking when you're in a coma.

A coma usually is caused when blood flow and therefore oxygen is cut off from the brain, but keep in mind that every coma is different and impacts each patient uniquely. Following the Glasgow Coma Scale, which assigns a ranking from 3-15, the lower your scale, the worse off you are. On average, comas last from 2-4 weeks, but it is generally true that the longer a person is comatose, the less of a chance of surviving he or she has. Unfortunately, there is no cure to waken a patient from a coma.

There's a lot of debate about the brain activity of comatose patients and what is or is not going on in people's brains when they are in a coma. To learn more about some of the studies that have been done on this topic, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 04, 2018
Videos
JUL 04, 2018
Jockey Will Donate Brain for CTE Research
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a condition where the brain, after repeated traumatic impacts, is injured. Brain function slows down and cognitio
JUL 19, 2018
Videos
JUL 19, 2018
The Transition to Multicellular Life May Have Been Simple
It may have been relatively easy for complex organisms to form from one-celled microbes, researchers suggest.
JUL 24, 2018
Videos
JUL 24, 2018
Measles are on the Move
Measles is a highly contagious disease that used to be common in young children. Due to the development of vaccines, however, it’s been almost eradic
AUG 05, 2018
Videos
AUG 05, 2018
Watch a Bird Take Flight in Super-Slow Motion
Many of us watch birds take off into flight right before our eyes every day, but it happens so quickly that we don’t get a chance to observe the mech
AUG 09, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
AUG 09, 2018
How a Ham Sandwich Helps You Understand Mathematics (and the Universe)
Mathematics is an abstract method to describe topics such as quantity, structure, and even space, which sometimes presents quite an obstacle for everyday f
AUG 10, 2018
Videos
AUG 10, 2018
Can the Black Death Make a Comeback?
The bacterium that causes plague was never wiped out.
Loading Comments...