Panorama programme brings brain injury to the fore

A selection of MRI scans
Please note: image is for illustrative purposes only.

A BBC documentary – broadcast on Tuesday (November 13) – has brought acquired brain injury into the media spotlight. Journalists at Panorama followed a group of brain-injured young men in Britain and Canada as they took part in groundbreaking work to assess their levels of awareness. Newspapers and websites across the world have been reporting on the findings of the research. One of the young men, Alex Seaman, has been unable to talk after sustaining a traumatic brain injury and was apparently in what clinicians call a ‘vegetative state’. But tests using an MRI scanner appeared to show that the 20-year-old was able to recognise pictures of his mother and his girlfriend. Rob Wood, spokesman for The Children’s Trust, said: “It may be some time before we start to see the benefits of this research. “But we welcome this programme because it shone a light on the real complexity of ‘disorders of consciousness’. Parents often tell us these kind of states are treated very clumsily in the media. “This documentary showed that there is a genuine range of disorders of consciousness that we’re only just beginning to understand.” Source article
  • Did you see the documentary? What did you think? Comment on our forum thread here.
  • To read more about the range of disorders of consciousness and how children are affected, click here.
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