Doctors in Russian have been shocked to discover a 60-year-old retired engineer has been living his whole life with “only half a brain.”
And while most may think a half a brain is severely limiting, the older gentleman has served in the armed forces, raised a family and holds a degree.
The typical brain is supposed to have two hemisphere, a left and a right.
But this man was found to be missing the entire left hemisphere of his brain — showing up as a “black hole” in his scull when doctors conducted an MRI.
The medical staff who examined him believes that his case is “unique” but agreed to respect the man’s privacy and not reveal his identify.
In addition, he rejected their requests for permission to perform further tests on him.
Marina Anikina, one of the many neurologists in Moscow who examined the man shared:
“The man was admitted to a district clinic in the south of Moscow region due to an ischemic attack. This is a blood circulation failure in the brain. It is different from a stroke when part of the brain is irreversibly damaged.”
“This patient had problems moving one arm and one leg. Radiologists performed a computer tomography of his head and were puzzled for some time – the part of the brain of the retired man where the ischemia attack was supposed to have happened was not there at all. Instead of the left side of the brain there was a black ‘hole’ in computer images.”
It seems that for most of this man’s life, he had relied on solely the right side of his brain to perform all tasks.
The man shared how he wanted to be left alone, informing his doctors:
“I have lived a normal life, nothing worried me at all. And now I do not want any kind of popularity.”
The patient grew up in the Soviet era and had zero issues with his physical or mental state. He has good eyesight and developed physically as any other healthy child.
He did fairly well in school and was able to get an engineering degree before being enlisted into the Red Army.
In addition, he married, had kids and is currently retired.
Dr. Anikina continued on, saying:
“Scientists are aware of certain cases when parts of the brain were missing. It often happens with the people who suffer from cerebral infantile paralysis.”
“Their intellect is fine but almost always they have problems with moving around. In this recent case we face a different situation when the failure in brain development took place at an earlier stage of pregnancy, possibly in the embryo.”
“Maybe it was blood effusion or some other dramatic event. It usually leads to miscarriage but in this very unique case it ended quite successfully. At this stage of pregnancy the functions of [the] embryo’s brain are not assigned to certain centers in the brain. When one half was damaged, the second half simply got hold of all functions.”
She also noted how if the man had been conceived today along with the technology we have now to detect these issues, the the mother would have been recommended to abort for medical reasons.
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