A 60-year-old father from Russia has lived all his life ‘with only half a brain.
The retired engineer was not aware that there was a ‘black hole’ inside his skull where the brain’s left hemisphere should be.
The father-of-two holds a university degree, has served in the Red Army, and has raised a family without health problems.
Doctors in Moscow made the stunning discovery during a CT scan as he was admitted to hospital after a ‘mini stroke.’
Some rare conditions in which missing parts of the brain cause death or severe disability, but the Russian pensioner’s symptomless case is ‘very unique.’
The defect is likely to have occurred when he was only an embryo. If technology was able to detect the issue during pregnancy in the 1950s, his mother would’ve been told to let go of the baby.
Dr. Marina Anikina, a neurologist, said: “The man was admitted to a district clinic in the south of Moscow region due to an ischemic attack.
“This is a blood circulation failure in the brain. It is different from a stroke when part of the brain is irreversibly damaged. This patient had problems moving one arm and one leg.
“Radiologists performed a computer tomography of his head and were puzzled for some time – the part of the brain of the retired man where the ischemia attack was supposed to have happened was not there at all.
“Instead of the left side of the brain there was a black “hole” in computer images.”
Doctors concluded that all his life the right hemisphere had performed all the functions of the brain. The right side is responsible for creative tasks and coordinates the left side of the body.
Normally, the left hemisphere performs tasks relating to logic, such as mathematics and science, and also controls the right side of the body.
“I have lived a normal life, nothing worried me at all,” the man said to doctors. He also said he had no problem with his mental state, eyesight or physical development.
The man got a degree in engineering and even served in the Soviet army.
Dr. Anikina said: “Scientists are aware of certain cases when parts of the brain were missing.
“In this recent case we face a different situation when the failure in brain development took place at an earlier stage of pregnancy, possibly in the embryo.
“Maybe it was blood effusion or some other dramatic event. It usually leads to miscarriage but in this very unique case it ended quite successfully.
“At this stage of pregnancy the functions of embryo’s brain are not assigned to certain centres in the brain. When one half was damaged, the second half simply got hold of all functions.”
After he quickly recovered from his mini attack, he refused doctors’ request to perform more tests on his brain. He also wished to remain anonymous as “I do not want any kind of popularity.”
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