Woman in China Found to Have No Cerebellum



A 24-year-old woman from Shandong Province in China was recently admitted to a hospital after presenting with symptoms of dizziness and nausea. Once a brain scan was performed, it was discovered that she had no cerebellum, with the brain cavity that it normally fills instead replaced with cerebrospinal fluid. The patient is one of only nine people known to have lived with this condition. 

The cerebellum is the area of the brain associated with motor control, timing, coordination and fine movement. The patient described a lifelong difficulty with balance, and her mother said she couldn't stand on her own until age four nor walk unassisted until age seven. Yet the woman was determined overall to have only "mild to moderate" symptoms and "slightly irregular" movement.

The woman's case is an important data set with regard to the study of neuroplasticity, in which one or more regions of the brain adapt to compensate for brain damage in another area. Learn more about this fascinating case at io9. 


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This should refer us all back to the classic article "Is your brain really necessary?"
In 1980, Roger Lewin published an article in Science, "Is Your Brain Really Necessary?",[5] about Lorber's studies on cerebral cortex losses. He reports the case of a Sheffield University student who had a measured IQ of 126 and passed a Mathematics Degree but who had hardly any discernible brain matter at all since his cortex was extremely reduced by hydrocephalus. The article led to the broadcast of a Yorkshire Television documentary of the same title... Lorber wasn't given the attention he deserved back in the day, and I hope this brings the issue forward again.
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