The Brain of Karen Ann Quinlan

Leif A. Havton, Peter T. Ohara, K. A. Jellinger, Joseph S. Jeret, William D. Kaehny, Hannah C. Kinney, Julius Korein

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To the Editor: The report on the neuropathological findings in the brain of Karen Ann Quinlan (May 26 issue)1 proposes a role for the thalamus in the persistent vegetative state. However, we are concerned about the methods used and the interpretation of the data and wish to bring some major points to your attention. The light-microscopical analysis of representative sections of different regions in the brain was based entirely on qualitative assessments and reported various degrees of atrophy in different cortical regions and thalamic nuclei. Qualitative studies may be useful and adequate in some instances, but they are questionable in…

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1378-1380
Number of pages3
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - 17 Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


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