Look no further for evidence of the human brain’s astounding capacity to recover and adapt to events that would normally be incompatible with normal life.
A 44-year old French civil servant went to the hospital after he suffered mild weakness in his left leg. Once the doctors learned of his past medical history, which included having a shunt inserted into his skull to drain away water on the brain as an infant, they performed a CT scan and an MRI of his brain.
To their amazement, they found that his lateral ventricles were massively enlarged, leaving but a sliver of brain tissue. Normally, these ventricles are tiny chambers that hold the cerebrospinal fluid that cushions the brain.
Intelligence tests showed he had an IQ of 75, which, although below the average score of 100, is not considered disabled or mentally retarded.
Dr. Muenke, a pediatric brain defect specialist, commented, “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.”
The body, including the brain, is truly a marvelous piece of “machinery.” Just take a look at these other examples of incredible brain power, despite (or in some cases because of) head trauma or autism: The Boy With the Incredible Brain, or the Most Amazing Demonstration of Memory You Have Ever Seen.