Half a brain and still living!

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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 5:15 pm » by Nickelson


http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/1 ... index.html

Born with only half a brain, Mack can speak normally, graduated from high school and has an uncanny knack for dates.

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.
"It's quite possible that in her learning, in her development, when the right hemisphere either took over or developed some of the language abilities that it cost her in some of the skills that are normally mediated by the right side of the brain," added Grafman.
In the 10 years since Grafman first diagnosed Mack, she has seen some intellectual functions improve, the doctor said. Recovery has not been perfect, however. Mack still struggles with abstract concepts and becomes easily lost in unfamiliar surroundings.
The diagnosis explained why Mack had experienced a lifetime of difficulty controlling her emotions.
"He's helped us understand the reason why I tend to throw fits, temper tantrums," she said. "It was because I was missing half my brain."
Mack will always have some problems, but dad Wally Mack said that Grafman's diagnosis and treatment answered a lot of questions and gave him hope.
"Dr. Grafman explained that the right hemisphere is taking over, and it might take her a little while longer to get there with all the rewiring that has to take place," he said. "But that told us all these bad days are behind us and there are nothing but good days ahead."
Michelle Mack is now 37 and lives with her mother and father. She works from home doing data entry for her church. She is fairly independent, pays rent and can do most household chores. She realizes she'll need help for the rest of her life but wanted to tell her story to make it clear that she is not helpless.
"I wanted to do this so people like producers, photographers and security guards and police officers learn about people like me," she said, "that I'm normal but have special needs, and that there are a lot people like me, so that they could be more understanding."

"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 truly is amazing, what if all people can train their brains to use it at full capacity, what dimensions will we find around us, will we get superpowers, will we be more intelligent?? I think our brain is the greatest mystery on Earth and much is there to learn. And this woman is here to teach us.

Just open you ears and eyes and try using your brain for the best.


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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 5:26 pm » by Slith


This is an excellent post. A real feel good story. Thanks for putting it up, made my morning :flop:
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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 5:30 pm » by Blotto


the title of the thread reminds me of dtv,

joking ofcourse.

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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 5:34 pm » by Slith


blotto wrote:the title of the thread reminds me of dtv,

joking ofcourse.

Hey blotto, good to see you on here. I agree, as of late, "half" wits. Did like this story though
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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 5:57 pm » by sawltydawg


Michelle Mack is now 37 and lives with her mother and father. She works from home doing data entry for her church. She is fairly independent, pays rent and can do most household chores. She realizes she'll need help for the rest of her life but wanted to tell her story to make it clear that she is not helpless.
"I wanted to do this so people like producers, photographers and security guards and police officers learn about people like me," she said, "that I'm normal but have special needs, and that there are a lot people like me, so that they could be more understanding."


i'm almost positive that the IT guy at my work has half-a-brain too

dont forget the doughnut cooks, and the dog walkers....oh ya and the carpenters too

on a serious note...it is pretty amazing how quickly biology can adapt to dynamic situations.
i am glad most evolutionary biologists are starting to embrace the concept of rapid evolution.

on a fascist note (to self)... juvenile frontal lobotomies are a bad idea...the goddamn brain just rewires itself.
out..cya

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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 6:06 pm » by Dirttyrabbit


reading title of this thread reminded me of this story
warning it might be graphic for some

US Soldier Who Lost 1/3 of Brain in Iraq
Army Sgt. Frank Sandoval struggled for nearly two years to recover from a head injury sustained in combat in Iraq, unfortunately he passed away when his brain swelled after surgery on July 18 2007. If you want to know more about him:
http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/2868736.html


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n75MDxkxOM4


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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 6:11 pm » by Slith


dirttyrabbit wrote:reading title of this thread reminded me of this story
warning it might be graphic for some

US Soldier Who Lost 1/3 of Brain in Iraq
Army Sgt. Frank Sandoval struggled for nearly two years to recover from a head injury sustained in combat in Iraq, unfortunately he passed away when his brain swelled after surgery on July 18 2007. If you want to know more about him:
http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/2868736.html


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n75MDxkxOM4


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Nice rabbit. The miracles and the strength of being able to bounce back from adversity never fails to amaze me
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PostTue Oct 13, 2009 8:18 pm » by Nickelson


blotto wrote:the title of the thread reminds me of dtv,

joking ofcourse.


You make me laugh my ass off....... :flop:

dlslith wrote:This is an excellent post. A real feel good story. Thanks for putting it up, made my morning :flop:


For me its evening, but thanks for the compliment. I do my best to post good topics in the right forums. So far so good.

dlslith wrote:
dirttyrabbit wrote:reading title of this thread reminded me of this story
warning it might be graphic for some

US Soldier Who Lost 1/3 of Brain in Iraq
Army Sgt. Frank Sandoval struggled for nearly two years to recover from a head injury sustained in combat in Iraq, unfortunately he passed away when his brain swelled after surgery on July 18 2007. If you want to know more about him:
http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/2868736.html


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n75MDxkxOM4


Upload to Disclose.tv


Nice rabbit. The miracles and the strength of being able to bounce back from adversity never fails to amaze me


Humans are the most interesting species in the universe I think. Because we still havent figured out our own strength and possibilities. People still amaze me every day in good and bad ways.

These kind of stories can give us humans hope and makes us feel good about ourselves and perhaps we can judge each other on a more positive way so we can find out our inner true strength. People like Michel Mack opens our eyes and we only need to watch and learn.
;)
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.



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