Doctors in China have discovered that a 24 year old woman who, as a child, had been slow to develop in key areas like walking and speech, has lived her entire life missing a key part of her brain.
X-rays show the woman has nothing but spinal fluid where her cerebellum should be. This is a problem since the cerebellum makes up 10% of the brain’s overall volume and contains more than 50% of its neurons.
The amazing thing about this woman is that the rest of her brain somehow managed to adapt, taking on responsibility for crucial functions normally controlled by the missing cerebellum. She learned to walk and speak and even became a mother in spite of the formidable challenges she faced with balance, movement and cognition.
And until recently, no one knew why she was having problems, or what an amazing story her life tells us about human resilience and adaptability.
Imagine how she must have felt to receive this stunning news!
I can only guess that it was a relief to finally have a biological explanation for all the difficulty she has faced.
Doctors have just informed you that part of your brain is missing. Which responsibilities are usually covered by the absent area?