October 13, 2009

Getting by with half a brain.

It's not as bad as you might think.

28 comments:

LarryTheOlder said...

Works for me!

MadisonMan said...

The jokes write themselves.

Politicians get by with much less.

Triangle Man said...

Half a brain? Sheer luxury! When I was a kid we had to share one neuron between the 16 of us.

MadisonMan said...

But stories like that make me wonder: At what age does the brain lose the ability to rewire itself? And why did that chick on Star Trek take Spock's entire Brain when only half of it would have done the job?

traditionalguy said...

The ability of humans to adapt to losses is always surprising. The people who have been abused by life seem to develop coping mechanisms, and they can seem whole, until the rest of the story comes out under pressure. That includes politicians like Nixon and like Obama.It seems that God blesses us with competant and good leadership over us, and He curses us with broken and inept leadership over us.

TMink said...

Madisonman, the people who study this sort of thing say that the brain is most plastic in our youth and loses a grat deal of adaptability after puberty.

Still, it is a poorly understood area of brain science.

One of my cigar buddies has a daughter with a lot of her brain missing. We had lunch a few Saturdays back. She is holding a fulltime job as a web designer and going to college. She takes two classes a semester because the work takes her longer.

Her mother was urged to abort her and told that her child would be a vegetable.

Trey

Lem said...

If I had this malady, at restaurants I would only tip half.

(sorry if I’ve offended anyone ;)

Fred4Pres said...

There are people who have lost half their brain due to trauma or because of uncontrolled epilepsy and surgery who have not only survived but recovered almost all function. The brain is an amazingly adaptive organ.

Fred4Pres said...

Lem, okay, but that means if you have that malady you only get paid half too!

Fred4Pres said...

Triangle Man said...
Half a brain? Sheer luxury! When I was a kid we had to share one neuron between the 16 of us.

10/13/09 9:53 AM


Unfortunately, I have to deal with people like this all the time Triangle Man.

Bob_R said...

My son was born 24 years ago with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. While this and other handicaps limit him, he functions quite well and was able to get a high school degree. The brain is an amazingly adaptable instrument.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

I am adopting a bad racial joke to one ripping more "acceptible" groups not based on ethnicity:

A man went to a neurosurgeon: "Doc, I'm in love with a journalist. I want to marry her. But her family wants me to have surgery to become one of them, so I have to have half my brain removed. Please help."

After much discussion - Doctor: "Ok, fine, since you're doing it for love."

Weeks later, the man wakes up after the surgery in the recovery room. The surgeon looks glum. "Sir, I hate to tell you this, but a terrible mistake was made. We accidentally removed nine-tenths of your brain."

Man: "When they vote me into office, you're sooooo screwed!"

(*Rimshot*)

(Old joke involved the man wanting to become Polish, then waking up and saying "Mama Mia!!")

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Word Verification: imule. Sheesh, Apple is into marketing livestock now??

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Second Word Verification on edit: restivel. Like a festival, except reclined and napping.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Her mother was urged to abort her and told that her child would be a vegetable.

Nice.

Wonder when that "choice" will become an obligation as the health-care takeover by government-as-director continues.

paul a'barge said...

No one is going to make the "it's a woman" joke?

Lem said...

Lem, okay, but that means if you have that malady you only get paid half too!

I understand half of what you are saying ;)

Tibore said...

"MadisonMan said...
But stories like that make me wonder: At what age does the brain lose the ability to rewire itself?"


That would be an interesting study. I think that so far, adolescents who've suffered some sort of trauma - either physical from a car wreck, or "induced" due to tumor removal - have been able to recapture some but far from all of their previous physical and mental capacities. But my memory is faint on this (it was based on a story of a cancer patient who needed much of her brain removed... and it's been years since I read it, so I can't recall many details...).

On the other hand, I recall a documentary on another adolescent who suffered extreme grand mal seizures, and had a whole hemisphere of her brain removed. While rare, it's well enough known to be mentioned on the Mayo Clinic page on epilepsy.

"And why did that chick on Star Trek take Spock's entire Brain when only half of it would have done the job?"

That's so geek, I must salute you sir!

Tibore said...

Whoops. Forgot to finish my thought on the epileptic patient: From what I saw, she only had minor disabilities afterwards. I wonder if the difference between her and the tumor/trauma patients were age, or the fact that she had epilepsy from birth whereas the others brains had already fully formed and interconnected when the trauma struck.

As I said, that's a fascinating topic to study.

Lem said...

"And why did that chick on Star Trek take Spock's entire Brain when only half of it would have done the job?"

Ponfar only happens every seven years. I don’t know about you but if I have to wait seven years to get laid I want my whole brain intact to welcome me ;)

Jeremy said...

99% of the fools here have been getting by with half a brain their entire lives.

That's why they're called Republicans.

JohnAnnArbor said...

You know, if Bones could make Spock walk around like that on a little remote control with no brain, it implies some pretty facinating possibilities for future funerals for people who are brain-dead but functioning otherwise. Imagine the dearly departed marching in his/her own funeral procession.

Sofa King said...

99% of the fools here have been getting by with half a brain their entire lives.

That's why they're called Republicans.

Be proud, liberals! This guy is on your side.

MeJerry said...

"Her mother was urged to abort her and told that her child would be a vegetable."

Nice.

"Wonder when that "choice" will become an obligation as the health-care takeover by government-as-director continues."

My granddaughter has HPE. Her mother was told she'd be a vegetable if she survived birth.

But she was a twin. Wonder if the new government panels would have required the abortion of both she and her healthy twin?

paul a'barge said...

That's why they're called Republicans

Feel the hate.

Tibore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

"paul a'barge said...

Feel the hate."


Feel the jealousy. That's still 49% more vs. the total than Jeremy has.

kentuckyliz said...

Pop quiz:
Short answer:
Who is Althouse really referring to?

WV swarcula
A dark and handsome Dracula, of southern Italian extraction

Cedarford said...

The general story of fetal brain defects is pretty discouraging...dead early, never self-aware.

This women in this case is a welcome rare exception.
And while still severely handicapped, she developed intelligence and sufficient motor skills to have a pretty decent life.

Moreover, she is well aware that her case, while still a tragedy for herself and her parents...ultimately gave medicince and neurology and neurological development researchers an absolutely invaluable gift. By studying her rare case of - that will greatly advance human knowledge and possibly help others with brain defects/brain damage.

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JohnAnnArbor said...
Her mother was urged to abort her and told that her child would be a vegetable.

Nice.

Wonder when that "choice" will become an obligation as the health-care takeover by government-as-director continues.


I don't see this as very germane to the abortion debate. Doctors will continue to give their best odds and judgment on the likely outcome of severe genetic defects or fetal abnormalities and what the options are, including abortion.

Highly unlikely abortion will ever be forced. But it well could be we are headed for a future.. that a bankrupt America can no longer afford to assist people bringing severely handicapped infants into the world, and taxpayers may reject spending millions on heroic medical care for severely defective or drastically premature babies.

I imagine the practice of winos callimg for 200 free Medicare provided ambulance rides at 250 dollars a pop will also be hard to sustain in our likely future in America.

Same with that irritating old lady in the Scooter Store ads bragging about how My new (4 thousand dollar) Power Chair didn't cost me a penny out of pocket! Medicare pays for everything!!