Diabetes

Improved rescue kits for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia

Being with someone who has diabetes and needs immediate care to avoid a coma can be a frightening situation. Even worse, current products and injection kits to help in those emergencies can be complicated to use.

Health

UK court ruling seen as landmark in right-to-die cases

Britain's Supreme Court ruled Monday that families of patients who are in a long-term persistent vegetative state do not need to seek a court's permission to have life support removed, in a case seen as placing the right-to-die ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Acute kidney injury is risk factor for delirium, coma

(HealthDay)—For critically ill adults, acute kidney injury is a risk factor for delirium and coma, according to a study published online Nov. 17 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Neuroscience

Brain scans may help predict recovery from coma

Brain scans of people in a coma may help predict who will regain consciousness, according to a study published in the November 11, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. ...

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Coma

In medicine, a coma (from the Greek κῶμα koma, meaning deep sleep) is a state of unconsciousness, lasting more than 6 hours in which a person cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light or sound, lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle and does not initiate voluntary actions. A person in a state of coma is described as comatose. According to the Glasgow Coma Scale though, a person with confusion is considered to be in the mildest coma.

Coma may result from a variety of conditions, including intoxication (such as illicit drug abuse, overdose or misuse of over the counter medications, prescribed medication, or controlled substances), metabolic abnormalities, central nervous system diseases, acute neurologic injuries such as strokes or herniations, hypoxia, hypothermia, hypoglycemia or traumatic injuries such as head trauma caused by falls or vehicle collisions. It may also be deliberately induced by pharmaceutical agents in order to preserve higher brain functions following brain trauma, or to save the patient from extreme pain during healing of injuries or diseases.

In order for a patient to maintain consciousness, two important neurological components must function impeccably. The first is the cerebral cortex which is the gray matter covering the outer layer of the brain, and the other is a structure located in the brainstem, called reticular activating system (RAS or ARAS). Injury to either or both of these components is sufficient to cause a patient to experience a coma. The human cortex is a group of tight, dense, "gray matter" composed of the nucleus of the neurons whose axons then form the "white matter", and is responsible for the perception of the universe, relay of the sensory input (sensation) via the thalamic pathway, and most importantly directly or indirectly in charge of all the neurological functions, from simple reflexes to complex thinking. Reticular activating system (RAS) on the other hand is a more primitive structure in the brainstem that is tightly in connection with reticular formation (RF), a critical anatomical structure needed for maintenance of arousal and sleep-wake transitions. Reticular activating system (RAS) takes its name from the effect it has on the reticular formation, which is via its stimulation. It is therefore necessary to investigate in a comatose patient, the integrity of the bilateral cerebral cortices, as well as that of the reticular activating system (RAS).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA