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Magnetic resonance photo of a normal brain. Feuillet et al./The Lancet once it involves our brains, does size really matter?One of the best myths about the mind is the bigger is always better. But what around those who sit on the extreme end of that scale?

How lot of our brain do we actually must survive?

Looking with the archives of clinical history, there space a variety of people v tiny brains, or brains with large chunks missing entirely, which defy all odds.

In a 2007 Lancet study, doctors explained an incredible medical oddity – the 44-year-old polite servant who had lived a normal life despite having an very tiny brain. The French man went into hospital after he knowledgeable weakness in his left foot for 2 weeks. Physicians were quite surprised when they took scans that his brain and found a vast fluid-filled chamber.

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The scans confirmed that the man had actually a “massive enlargement the the lateral, third, and also fourth ventricles, a very thin cortical mantle and also a posterior fossa cyst,” researchers provided in the study.

In short, while liquid normally circulates transparent the brain, it’s consistently drained.

But rather of draining the fluid into the circulatory system, the fluid in this man’s brain built up. Eventually, the build-up of fluid resulted in just a tiny amount the actual brain material.


The big black an are is the liquid that built up in his brain. Feuillet et al./The Lancet The male medical history showed the he had actually to obtain a shunt put into his head together an infant to remove the buildup of liquid on the brain, known as hydrocephalus. The shunt was ultimately removed when at age 14, that complained the left leg weakness and some unsteadiness.

The male went on to live a regular life and he acquired married and also had 2 children. Tests verified that he had an IQ that 75which, though below the average of 100, is not considered a mental disability.

“What I discover amazing to today is just how the mind can resolve something which girlfriend think must not be compatible through life,” Dr. Max Muenke, from the National human Genome research study Institute, called Reuters.

Earlier critical year, IFLScience report on the nine known instance of someone life without a cerebellum. This is the part of the mind that controls a variety of important functions such as balance, engine movements and motor learning. The 24-year-old Chinese woman went into a hospital complain of nausea and also vertigo, and doctors discovered thatshe experienced from a rare problem known together cerebellar agenesis.


The Scarecrow go all appropriate without a brain. Warner Bros In one more case, 12-year-old Trevor judge Waltrip shocked medical experts when he survived as lengthy as he did with only his brain stem.

Trevor passed far last year after going his entire life without a brain. He experienced from a rare problem called hydranencephaly, by which the cerebral hemispheres arereplaced entirely withcerebrospinal fluid. World with hydranencephaly usually make it through for as much as 12 weeks, which make Trevor’s instance so remarkable. He was able to breathe top top his own and respond to stimuli, but was blind and unable come communicate.

These casesshow not onlythe adaptability and also resilience of the person brain, but also how small we know around one of our most important organs.

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Cases like this force neuroscientists come rethink exactly how we check out the brain, particularly what functions different regions have and also how the brain adapts once these regions become damaged.