Insane in the Brain

I just read about the most bizarre brain condition. So in your brain there are pockets filled with cerebral spinal fluid and nothing else. There are no neurons (brain cells) there. These areas aren't huge because your brain needs as much room as possible to hold the estimated 100 billion neurons that live there. So this picture seems insane to me:

The right pair of images is a normal brain. The left pair is of a brain that has extra large ventricles. The black spaces represents the ventricles for each brain. The top images are of the top of the brain and the bottom are of the side. Remember, there are no brain cells there. Further, there are important parts of the brain that are just not in the right place if they are there at all. At the very bottom of the brain there is the brain stem and behind the brain stem is the cerebellum. It's easiest to see that in the bottom-left image. The brain stem is the black rod that is coming up from the bottom of the picture and the cerebellum is behind it. For one, that cerebellum is a lot smaller then the brain to the right. But what's insane is that above the brain stem and cerebellum there's supposed to be the thalamus and hypothalamus among other important areas of the brain. If I remember right, one of the main jobs of the thalamus is to transmit information from the other parts of the brain to the frontal cortex. In the left pair I have no idea where the thalamus is. For that matter, the frontal cortex is really, really small. The whole brain is really small. Apparently 10%-15% the size of a normal brain.

So what's surprising is that this particular brain is of a man who has only mild mental retardation and is in nearly every way fully functional. In fact, despite the slightly lower intelligence he's pretty average. So that brain, as small as it is, must have all of the components of the other, normal brain and nearly, if not just as many, neurons. That tiny brain would seemingly have 100 billions neurons in it somehow. Or at least the neurons that are left are taking over the duties of the neurons that should be there. That could be happening with the brain structures. Which is crazy.

What's even more incredible is that there's a woman in Britain who is a qualified nurse, completely fully functional, and has an IQ that is above average. This is the top of her brain:

That's fucking nuts dudes!

You can read up on the lady here; Link

Here's the story on the other brain; Link

12 Comments
16 Comments
Posted by McGhee

Oh, I have recently decided to ignore all news of weird and terrible diseases. I think I've turned into a hypochondriac.

Posted by JasonR86

@mcghee said:

Oh, I have recently decided to ignore all news of weird and terrible diseases. I think I've turned into a hypochondriac.

There's nothing you can do about this one if you have it. The good news is that it probably won't matter cause those tiny, insanely small brains function seemingly normally.

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Edited by McGhee

@jasonr86 said:

@mcghee said:

Oh, I have recently decided to ignore all news of weird and terrible diseases. I think I've turned into a hypochondriac.

There's nothing you can do about this one if you have it. The good news is that it probably won't matter cause those tiny, insanely small brains function seemingly normally.

Lol, I didn't even read it when I figured out what it was about. I was serious about ignoring this kind of stuff.

Posted by Grimluck343

Kind of reminds me of the old wive's tale that people only use 10% of their brain's maximum capacity. How could have a brain so small and not be completely disabled?

Posted by JasonR86

@grimluck343 said:

Kind of reminds me of the old wive's tale that people only use 10% of their brain's maximum capacity. How could have a brain so small and not be completely disabled?

It's really crazy. I mean the human body and brain are incredibly adaptable. But this seems way more severe a condition then a brain should be able to handle. I mean I seriously have no idea where key features of the brain exist in those brains. But apparently, however those brains work, they work well.

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Posted by DillonWerner

The brain is crazy

Posted by JasonR86

@dillonwerner said:

The brain is crazy

It is. The more I learn the more I'm amazed more things don't go wrong more often in all of us.

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Posted by Lysergica33

Well, shit. That's pretty amazing. I don't really have anything more to add than that, but, damn dude.

Posted by Jams

@jasonr86 said:

@grimluck343 said:

Kind of reminds me of the old wive's tale that people only use 10% of their brain's maximum capacity. How could have a brain so small and not be completely disabled?

It's really crazy. I mean the human body and brain are incredibly adaptable. But this seems way more severe a condition then a brain should be able to handle. I mean I seriously have no idea where key features of the brain exist in those brains. But apparently, however those brains work, they work well.

Maybe those old busy body wives had something there. Maybe people only use 10% of each cortex (or whatever the fuck they're called)? To someone like me who know 2 things about neurology (jack and shit), it looks like there is a small amount in each area.

Posted by jking47

That is pretty crazy, shows how little we know about brains.

Posted by JasonR86

@jams said:

@jasonr86 said:

@grimluck343 said:

Kind of reminds me of the old wive's tale that people only use 10% of their brain's maximum capacity. How could have a brain so small and not be completely disabled?

It's really crazy. I mean the human body and brain are incredibly adaptable. But this seems way more severe a condition then a brain should be able to handle. I mean I seriously have no idea where key features of the brain exist in those brains. But apparently, however those brains work, they work well.

Maybe those old busy body wives had something there. Maybe people only use 10% of each cortex (or whatever the fuck they're called)? To someone like me who know 2 things about neurology (jack and shit), it looks like there is a small amount in each area.

Usually there's a lot in each hemisphere of the brain. But in these brains there looks like there's very little. But both of these people don't have any real, dramatic problems. Particularly the nurse. Which means that in those brain, where there is very little surface area all that we normally have crammed in our brains is even more crammed in these brains. Which is fucking crazy and I have no idea how that works.

@jking47 said:

That is pretty crazy, shows how little we know about brains.

Which kind of makes it seems terrifying when we do things like prescribe medications that effect the brain so much and in many ways that we don't really have a clear understanding of how and why and that we do brain surgery. Makes you wonder what we are going to regret doing 10-15-20 years from now when we look back. Sort of like how we regret doing brain lobotomies.

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Edited by believer258

If you're right and the parts of the brain that are there are making up for the ones that aren't there, then wouldn't it be possible for parts of the brain to be removed and the rest of it adapt to restore that functionality? Or, maybe we could find a way to (and excuse my vast ignorance of medical knowledge) clone brain cells and help those with diseases that degenerate the brain?

Posted by Enigma777

He seems like a real... braniac.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Kind of reminds me of the old wive's tale that people only use 10% of their brain's maximum capacity. How could have a brain so small and not be completely disabled?

If I remember my anime correctly, it's because the human brain has more room than it's ever gonna use.

Posted by Video_Game_King

If you're right and the parts of the brain that are there are making up for the ones that aren't there, then wouldn't it be possible for parts of the brain to be removed and the rest of it adapt to restore that functionality?

Also, this happens more often than you'd think. If you're young enough (IE maybe 5 years old), you can have half your brain removed and live a perfectly normal life with just half a brain sloshing about in your head. The other half will simply take over the duties the removed half was doing anyway.

Posted by JasonR86

@believer258 said:

If you're right and the parts of the brain that are there are making up for the ones that aren't there, then wouldn't it be possible for parts of the brain to be removed and the rest of it adapt to restore that functionality? Or, maybe we could find a way to (and excuse my vast ignorance of medical knowledge) clone brain cells and help those with diseases that degenerate the brain?

It's just a guess. But it would make sense in terms of our body's capacity to adapt to environments. It would fit with Darwinism. It's just that that should take a long time to happen. It would be amazing if it were true though. The other option I can think of is that the parts of the brain that are there in a normal brain are all present in these brains just over an absurdly small area. Which is also amazing.

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