In an amazing discovery, Chinese doctors have discovered a woman who is living a pretty normal life without a crucial part of the brain which controls complex activities –the cerebellum. She suffers with unsteady gait and slurred speech.
This amazing story has been published in the scientific journal Brain. The woman is married and also has a daughter. The woman suffered from dizziness while walking from her childhood. She also suffered from slurring of speech. Otherwise she led a perfect life.
The woman was suffering from nausea and vomiting for a month and was admitted at a military hospital in Shangdong province, China. Feng Yu and his colleagues at a military hospital in Shangdong province conducted CT and MRI and to their astonishment found her Brain had no cerebellum. The place where her cerebellum ought to be was filled with a whitish cerebro-spinal fluid that bathes the whole brain. The woman suffered from a very rare condition known as cerebellar agenesis or in other words her Cerebellum was never developed.
The cerebellum is a small part of the brain located just at the base was the vertebral column meets the brain. It is involved with key attributes like precision and coordination of motor functions. In other words it is involved in actions like chewing or cycling were a number of muscles act in unison. It is also involved in language abilities.
The woman’s mother informed that her daughter had a very slow development index. She was able to stand without support only when she was four and started to walk independently only when she was six. Her speech was also not intelligible until she was six. She also never ran or jumped like other children.
It is for the first time that a person with such a vital piece missing in her brain could lead an almost normal life. Usually kids with a missing cerebellum suffer from severe disabilities. The woman’s case shows the amazing plasticity and dynamic nature of the brain which adapts itself to any shortfalls.