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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-121

Sensitive sensory stimulation for the arousal treatment of a persistent vegetative state following traumatic brain injury: a care-compliant case report

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Shanghai Tongren Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Yan Li
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Shanghai Tongren Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2773-2398.348257

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Effective treatments for patients in a persistent vegetative state due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) are currently unavailable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic use of sensitive sensory stimulation for patients in persistent vegetative state following TBI. This case report discussed a 36-year-old male patient who experienced TBI 75 days prior to admission. Upon hospital admission, the patient was unconscious, could automatically open his eyes, but could not avoid light, trace motions, or execute commands. He was placed on a nasal feeding diet, exhibited urinary and fecal incontinence and developed postoperative urinary retention and a pulmonary infection. He showed no mobility of the upper and lower extremities with hypomyotonia. Medications for nerve repair, regaining consciousness, preventing seizure, resolving phlegm, and protecting the stomach were administered. The activity of the extremities was improved by exercise therapies and low or medium-frequency electric stimulation, bladder and bowel function was improved by acupuncture and abdominal massage, and consciousness recovery was promoted by acupuncture and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Five months following admission, the patient regained consciousness with improved bladder and bowel function. Electroencephalogram indicated that brain function had significantly improved. Auditory evoked potentials and somatosensory evoked potentials suggested that sensation conduction pathways had improved significantly. Sensitive sensory stimulation in combination with routine rehabilitation treatment can effectively cause the regain of consciousness in patients with persistent vegetative state following TBI and improve activities of daily living and the function of the sensation conduction pathways..

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