by DAN SCHWALB
The human brain is more mysterious than we imagined. Chinese doctors have discovered that a 24-year old woman is missing her cerebellum, a major brain component. The cerebellum usually acts as the control center for speech and body movement. The woman has suffered slight medical problems due to the missing part, but has otherwise lived a healthy life.
Doctors and scientists alike are shocked that she has been able to function without such critical brain matter. MRI scans show that a buildup of white fluid has filled the space where her cerebellum should have been. This is the first reported case of its kind; others born without cerebellums typically suffer serious health conditions.
Brain scientists are saying that “neuroplasticity” has allowed the woman to function properly. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to re-wire itself and adapt to situations.
Even though this woman never had a cerebellum, other parts of her brain took on responsibility for speech and body movement.
Neuroplasticity has become a hot topic in recent years. Scientists have hoped it could shed light on treatments for psychological issues. This latest case, of the missing cerebellum, shows scientists just how resilient the human brain can be.