Half A' Brain

"At 27, doctors determined that the right side of her brain had essentially rewired itself to make up for function that was likely lost during a pre-birth stroke. But her childhood and young adult years were fraught with frustration.

"It was very hard for me," Mack said. "It was very hard for me growing up. No one knew the truth about my brain."

Mack's parents, Carol and Wally, realized shortly after her birth that something was wrong.
"There wasn't a group to turn to," said Carol Mack. "Michelle didn't have cerebral palsy, I knew that. She didn't have Down's syndrome, I knew that. I had no place to turn."

Ten years ago, Dr. Jordan Grafman, chief of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the National Institutes of Health, finally diagnosed the problem.

An MRI scan revealed she was missing nearly all the left side of her brain. While it was clear Mack has some problems, Grafman said he and the family were shocked by the extent of the damage.

"We were surprised to see the extent of the lesion in her brain, which basically took away the left side of her brain," said Grafman. "There's some very deep structures remaining, but the surface of her brain, the cortex is 95 percent gone and some of the deeper structures, structures that control movement, are missing. These are all structures that are important for movement, behavior, cognition."

The only answer, Grafman said, was that Mack's brain has rewired itself. The remaining half took over some of the essential functions that are normally done by the left, such as speaking and reading. That rewiring, however, came at a cost.

"Michelle has fairly normal language abilities, certainly basic language abilities, she can construct a sentence, she can understand instructions, she can find words when she's talking, but actually she has some trouble in some aspects of visual-spatial processing," said Grafman." LINK

If someone only has half of their brain and can even open their eyes, let alone live anywhere close to a normal life.. wow. There are some people will a full brain that can barely function. I'm just wondering how the brain would compensate for the whole right brain -left brain interactions. Does the side she has left over, do both? A lot of our higher functions come from the area between the left and right side where the information from both sides interact.

Sometimes I wonder if instead of someone missing a part of their brain and not knowing it, if instead they have extra parts? After all it's had to happen at some point. The human brain/ mammal brain is built up from fish to reptile, and then finally the parts that only humans do. So it does make sense that someday someone is going to be born with something extra going on.

And even more intriguing is the development of computer chip based brain implants. I'm not talking about science fiction, but literally they are making chips to replace and enhance parts of the brain. It's suppose to help those with altimerz, but the implications are vast after that.

I'll take one for spell check and the ability to erase and record my memories selectively.

Delete -

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Salvator Mundi (The Savior of the world) by Leonardo da Vinci?

What did Leonardo da Vinci Look like?

Salvator Mundi (The Savior of the world) by Leonardo da Vinci? (Update)