Akinetic mutism, overactivity in the brain

“What we saw, to our surprise, is that there was an extreme overexpression of certain brain waves or overactivity in the brain without the zolpidem, [a sedative, a sleeping pill]” said Arnts. “And this overactivity created noise that prevented motor function and speech to occur. We saw that zolpidem actually reduced these overactivities such that the hidden brain function that was there could reoccur.” Exploratory ReportAwakening after a sleeping pill: Restoring functional brain networks after severe brain injury https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.08.011 HisseArntsa1Willemijn S.van Erpb1Lennard I.Boonc1Conrado A.Bosmand1Marjolein M.AdmiraaleAnoukSchranteefCyriel M.A.PennartzdRickSchuurmanaCornelis J.StamcAnne-Fleurvan RootselaareArjanHillebrandc2Pepijnvan den Munckhofa2

Paula did not have permanent brain damage or akinetic mutism, like the patient described in this exploratory paper, but she did identify with the impression of “overactivity” in the brain making spontaneous thinking, motor function and speech difficult, very difficult. She also felt very stiff and the stiffness made speech especially difficult, effortful….she did not smile…it must have been the effect of the stiffness. It was a very strange state to experience, very distressing, very disturbing, very not normal.

to be continued……

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