Man With Water Sac For A Brain
A man from Marseille, France went to the doctor complaining of weakness in his left leg.
A giant sack of fluid where his brain should be. Take that Scarecrow.
The condition, known as hydrocephaly, occurs when there is a buildup of water in the brain's natural cushions - the ventricles. Without it, our noodle would bounce around our skull at all those heavy metal concerts.
The man admitted to having hydrocephaly as a young boy, and had a shunt placed in his brain to help remove excess fluid until he was 14. For the next thirty years he led a perfectly normal life - marrying, having two kids, and obtaining a career in civil service. However, all the meanwhile the fluid inside his brain was steadily increasing, shrinking his brain down to a thin sheet of tissue. [click to see photo from Nature periodical]
"We were very surprised when we looked for the first time the CT scan," says Lionel Feuillet, a neurologist at the Mediterranean University, Marseille. "The brain was very, very much smaller than normal." Nevertheless, subsequent tests showed the man to have an IQ of 75 — at the lower end of the 'normal range'...
...The fact that his medical record shows normal neurological development is remarkable, says Feuillet. "This case is unique to our knowledge. We have never encountered such severe hydrocephalus before."
And from Reuters...[click to see photo]
"What I find amazing to this day is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life," commented Dr. Max Muenke, a pediatric brain defect specialist at the National Human Genome Research Institute.
"If something happens very slowly over quite some time, maybe over decades, the different parts of the brain take up functions that would normally be done by the part that is pushed to the side," added Dr. Muenke, who was not involved in the case.