Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Living with half a brain

I don't think you need to be a radiologist to appreciate this isn't a normal head CT.

But this CT is of a nearly normal 36 year old man:
The parents noticed some clumsiness in early childhood. Right-sided hemiparesis and an equinus deformity at the ankle were diagnosed, with surgical treatment at the age of 18 years. During childhood, the patient received physical therapy. Additional sensorimotor and language development during childhood was not restricted. At the age of 28 years, the patient experienced his only general seizure. The rest of his medical history was unremarkable. Our patient was and is not receiving any medication. Intellect and language were unimpaired; the patient could complete school and is now working in a security department. He reported some disabilities concerning fine motor control of his affected right hand in tasks of daily living but had no other complaints.
So basically this guy was born with half his brain missing and he has some right sided weakness and difficulty with fine motor tasks using his right hand.

Truly amazing. As the authors note the human brain is remarkably plastic when damage occurs early. Remeber that the left side of the brain is usually dominant for speech and language, yet he has no impairment.

15 Comments:

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is he by any chance a conservative?

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he is, he's got twice the brain of a liberal.

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger Caltechgirl said...

This looks like a scan from a hemispherectomy patient of a professor I had a Caltech. The pt had the surgery about age 4 or 5 and at adulthood had very similar symptoms to this guy. As much as we know about the b rain it's still amazing to see people like this and how well they function.

Thanks for sharing this.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what i dont get is how does the person without one complete section of the brain function. The brain on either side, controll so many things, from simple things as breathing to basic living rules like chewing. So is this real. thanks

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous neurosurgeon said...

He probably suffered a vascular occlusion in utero.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that this is amazing and it gives my whole family hope because my 4 mth old nephew was born with only his right side fo the brain.

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what sites do you recommend that we look in to find more information on children born with only half of their brain? i want to find out as much as i possibly can so that i can know what to expect for my nephew.

 
At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being born with half of a brain is real and there is such thing of being born with no brain and still do survive. The research that I have done on half of a brain did not get very far. My daughter was born with half of a brain and is severely disabled. Although it is a rare condition and she doesnt fall under any type of syndrome. There are many questions I have and I have noone to ask them too. As of right now I am seeking a dr that can help me determine what kind of condition my daughter has.

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter was born with only the right side of her brain. Shes 5yrs old now in kindergarten, She doesn't walk (yet) she writes her name (and is learning like other children)and is learning site words. We are very lucky she has never had seizures.We had a shunt put in when she was a yr old, we had a shunt infection a few months later, they treated a placed a new shunt, and all has been good since. We have rightsided weakness, she is extremely spastic, (which is what is keeping us from walking)Shes creative and talkative. And loves to laugh..We are lucky I know that!!

 
At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son was born missing the left side of his brain and is 16yrs old.He has a minor speech problem other then that no major problems unless he gets a fever .A fever causes him to become dizzy and speech becomes very slurred. He has never been able to play contact sports and has received extra help in school ,but a wonderful kid who has his first job interview tonight!! (He worries that sometimes words don't always come out right).He has overcome almost all obstacles in his life.I am confident this will be another one.
We decided not to get the shunt since the fluid didn't seem to be building up and I think was a good decision for us yearly MRI's kept us up on any changes. His hardest yr being grade 7 he grew to fast that caused several severe headaches and 1 minor seizure but now at 6'2 just the odd headache.I hope I can help someone with our experiences I know how scary it can seem sometimes!!

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Indira Maharaj said...

My daughter has been born with only half of her brain - medical term used is congenital hemiatrophy. She cannot use her right hand nor can she walk. She turns 13 next month and I would greatly appreciate some help in getting to know more about what can be done in assisting her with walking and use of her right hand. If you are in the medical profession, please respond to maharaj.indira@gmail.com

Thank you for your assistance.

 
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At 11:36 AM, Anonymous buy cialis said...

This is really interesting because imagine living with a half a brain, so I've heard it doesn't matter because we only use the half of our brain.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

I hear something about this strange case, but the most impressive to me, is the case of Abby and Brittany Hensel, a twins that share a body, both have a different brain, and each control the function of the body.

 
At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter was born with only her left side of her brain. She was diagnosed with Porencehpalic cyst By Dr. Edwards a LPCH. She had to receive a shunt placement because the pressure in her heard was growing rapidly. She is blind due to the pressure was hearing impaired but most hearing came back once she received the shunt. She is still blind she has cerbral palsy on the left side. She just turned one still unable to sit up but very happy and well mannered. Our family is looking for others to talk to torelate so anyone willing please email us at jeaninelea@yahoo.com we would love to hear what its like for you. We struggle everyday but its all worth it

 

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