• Question: why is it that people in a coma are unable to wake up but are still breathing and using their brains?

    Asked by 344perq48 to Vassilis, Tirso, Matthew, Jane, Dawn, Alexandra on 13 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Alexandra Quigley

      Alexandra Quigley answered on 13 Mar 2019:


      the brain is responsible for lots of conscious and unconscious processes – biological and psychological. If someone is in a coma, the brain has assessed the situation and made the decision to shut down conscious processes, because it doesn’t have the resources to ‘stay on line’. But, it does still have the resources (via medical assistance like providing nutrients and respiration) to do basic functions. Once the brain assesses the body to be capable of getting back online (perhaps because of medical interventions, or just because the brain and body have been able to do what they need to do to get through), then sometimes people come out of a coma. Sometimes, things have gone to far to come back.

    • Photo: Vassilis Sideropoulos

      Vassilis Sideropoulos answered on 15 Mar 2019:


      Reasons for a coma include intoxication, nervous system disease, metabolic disease, infections, or a stroke. However, because someone is in a come it doesn’t mean that they can’t perceive their environment around them – there are many occasions where the patients were able to hear and feel everything around them while in come, but they weren’t able to wake up – yet they recalled everything after their brain got back in track and was online along with their rest of their body!

      This pretty much explains what happens in the brain during a come! 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KquuVq2Pok

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