A drug to assist recovery following a coma


Steven Laureys, a researcher at the University of Liège, has been awarded the Generet Prize for his research into improving the life of patients coming out of a coma with brain damage.

This prize, which also includes one million euros, will allow the professor to continue his research into states of consciousness altered by brain damage. This aid is very welcome, as for the last few months the professor has been testing a new drug, apomorphine, whose effectiveness needs to be assessed with as many patients as possible. And it was to allow him to complete this project and establish the existence of a link between taking apomorphine and an improvement in the patient's condition that the professor was awarded the prize. The use of apomorphine would also allow a gentler, more progressive method for treating patients.

Some of the money will also be used to create a foundation to assist patients and their families. Its goal will be to create a community to help families who often feel helpless when dealing with a relative's health problem. Steven Laureys explained that, "The prize is recognition for our clinical research team, but also for the patients in question and their families, a group that is often forgotten."

This research is international in scope, as patients from all over Europe travel to the Brain Centre of the Liège University Hospital (CHU) to be examined.