Posts Tagged coma

Was TOO Locked-In Syndrome!

Posted by on Thursday, 26 November, 2009

Looks Like A Finger. Could Be A Neuron.

Looks Like A Finger. Could Be A Neuron.

Neurology: A Case Of Facilitated Communication

Rom Houben was nearly killed in an accident 23 years ago.


Couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t wiggle a finger.

They figured he was in a type of coma, a persistent vegetative state. But he wasn’t.

He could think. And he could hear. And he could listen to visitors as they walked around his bedside, discussing the fact that his brain was ruined.

Drove him nuts.

Until a miracle came along.

New technology was applied to his case and it was discovered that he had a mental life. And more new technology gave him a way to communicate.

And communicate, he did, going on to explain, with unexpected eloquence, the frustration and angst of being locked inside a body that had no means to tell the world “I am HERE!”. An inspiring and wonderful story.

Except some people don’t believe it.

Steven Novella’s a neurologist. And he’s also an excellent blogger. Don’t worry, nobody’s as good as MISTER ScienceAintSoBad. But Dr. Novella’s pretty darn good AND he’s a Doc.

Here’s his reaction.

On the other hand Steven laureys, Mr. Houben’s neurologist, is aware of the skepticism and he says he did some tests to show that the communications are not fraudulent.

Certainly, everyone has an agenda. As Dr. House likes to say, “Everyone lies.”

MISTER ScienceAintSoBad doesn’t think this is a case of pseudoscience. Everyone seems well intentioned and sincere. And Science Ain’t So Bad wishes Rom Houben a complete recovery, no matter what the odds, and congratulates him on having such a devoted family.

I will give Dr. Novella a ScienceAintSoBadRating = 8 for asking the right questions and trying so hard to be fair. But the controversy isn’t over.