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:

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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:

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That's fucking nuts dudes!

You can read up on the lady here; Link

Here's the story on the other brain; Link

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