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Suffered diabetic coma. Had severe brain damage to the cerebral cortex. MRI showing minimal brain activity. Any hope?

My best friend went into a diabetic coma about 11 days ago. Went in with a blood sugar level of 5 and slept with no insulin for 9 hours before someone found her She had what they said severe brain damage to the cerebral cortex but the recently took ventilator off and shes breathing on her own. Shes begun moving around and has opening occasionally. They say her MRI and all tests look like she has very minimal brain activity. Will she stay in a vegetative state or is there still some hope of her waking up
Asked On : Sat, 11 Aug 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  904
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Neurologist 's  Response
Nov 2013
Thank you for writing to us.
From the details provided, it seems to be a case of hypoglycemic coma (due to very low blood sugars). Brain (cerebral cortex) is very sensitive to hypoglycemia and low blood sugar leads to severe damage to brain. If the low blood sugar level is prolonged, which happened in this case, the damage may be irreversible.
There is no specific treatment to improve the brain in hypoglycemic coma. However, supportive treatments like cognitive stimulation, music therapy, physiotherapy, etc may be helpful. Chances of good brain recovery, however, is unlikely.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Health City, Hyderabad
Answered: Sat, 11 Aug 2012
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Neurologist Dr. Piyush Ostwal's  Response
Brain is very susceptible to damage - even if the causative factor acts for a short time. Without blood and nutrient supply brain can survive only for 8 minutes. Unfortunately your friend seems to have suffered significant damage. However positive side is that she has started improving. The improvement usually continues for months and some improvement can be expected up to 2 yrs. So there is still hope and proper medical care should help her in long run.
Good luck.
Answered: Sat, 11 Aug 2012
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