Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    anyone read about the 3 year old little boy who is blind and who has no cerebellum, litterally none zero.

    doctor's did an mri thinking he'd have a small sized one which would explain some of his difficulties. and he didnt' have one at all, the teacher's doctor's therapists that work with him are all amazed.

    he had one in eutro they have sono's with pics of it, yet now it's gone. it's really wild. it totally throws off everything we thought we knew about the human brain. according to his mri's he should be a vegetable yet he's not.

    he's blind, yet he rides a bike, plays', can draw, do everything.

    goes to show you how little we know and how anything is literally possible. just wanetd to share that i was blown away.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I dug up some info on it. I'd be sceptical of this, something this amazing should have been published in the medical journals. I've seen too many things like this hit the popular press before the journals - because the journals won't touch something unproven.

    I read a post somewhere in my digging that said that when part of the brain is not working properly, other parts can take over. But I'm not sure that could be possible with the cerebellum.

    Someone saying that the kid has no cerebellum is not as convincing as actually seeing the scan as it is done, then seeing the kid get up off the table and walk out of there. even then, I'd be checking the equipment to see if it was faulty. Then the calendar, to see if it's April 1.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    True Marg. If there is no cerebellum, where is the functioning coming from? This kid cant just be walking around with an empty head.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Apparently there are some very rare children who are born with part of their brain just missing! When I was a teenager I was very good friends with a girl who lived across the street from us. Her uncle had a little girl who was like this and since I spent a lot of time at their house, I saw her many times. She was about four at the time and a very pretty little girl. She had long dark curly hair and was always beautifully dressed and lovingly cared for by her parents. But she didn't even function as an infant. She had a functioning brain stem so she did the automatic things like breathing, but other than that, she was just a beautiful little empty shell of a child. She had no muscle tone at all, her eyes would open but she did not see. She did grow but she was much smaller than the normal four year old. I don't remember now if they could bottle feed her or if she was tube fed. Of course the doctors had recommend that she be institutionalized but the parents refused and devoted their lives to caring for her until she finally passed away when she was about 7 or 8. So very sad. But this is a very rare thing, and even more rare for such a child to survive as long as she did.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    It's right there on the web. his name is Chase Britton. it's not a lie, dont' be soo skeptical. sometimes things are just what they are. :) he's an amazing little boy, who makes new strides everyday. the medical community cannot figure it out. it's unheard of to be missing that part as well as the pons i think their called which are responsible for sleep and breathing which he does everyday.

    they have a video on aol of the boy, his doctor and parents. amazing story
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the web doesn't mean it's all true. Not tat I think the parents are lying. The boy does sound like a very amazing kid. But I do doubt the accuracy of the medical reporting.

    It is possible for people to do amazing things with a lot less brain than you would think. I remember a very carefully documented case of a bloke in the UK, I think he was a uni lecturer in Mathematics. They discovered he had hydrocephalus and the vast bulk of his brain was large CSF-filled ventricle spaces with a thin border of brain around the edge. When they did functional PET scans on him they found that what brain he had was all functioning at a very high level.

    But there is a difference between lack of cerebellum, and lack of cerebrum. The cerebellum is the top of the brainstem, you need it for basic life support. There is nothing that can substitute for it. You can be missing cerebrum and have other parts step in and take over function, but to completely lack cerebellum - you simply cannot function.

    So somewhere in that little boy's head, there must be a trace of something which is able to perform that function. It may be in a different place, or it may be a different shape. or there may be more of it than they saw on the scan. But it has to be there.

    The parents can only discuss what they have been told by the doctors. I suspect the true medical picture is a lot more complex.

    Still amazing, though.

    We had a little boy born to a family at our church, who had no brain function. The parents were told to let him die at birth; to stop heroic measures. But the mother insisted they keep rescuscitating him. So he lived - in a way - until he was about 10 years old. Died last year. He kept growing physically, but he simply was not there at all. Most of the time he was constantly fitting. Not major obvious thrashing around, just constant twitching, each twitch was another seizure. Tube-fed, needing to have lungs suctioned several times a day. Physically heavy, needing a hoist to lower him into the bath to wash him or to get him out of bed into his wheelchair. His head was smaller and an odd shape due to lack of brain - I think most of his cerebrum was missing. Not sure about brainstem function. Clearly not all OK with cerebellum though.

    husband's cousin had a baby with similar problems - he had a skull that was fused before birth, no room for the brain to grow so there was severe pressure on the brainstem which was badly hampering the baby's ability to breathe or do anything in terms of personal life support. he kept having more and more surgeries to open his skull but they were not able to reduce the pressure on his brain in time to save his life. He got pneumonia and died because they were not able to suction him out properly when the electric pump failed and all they had, over the holiday period, was an inefficient foot pump. He was due for his next surgery in a few weeks when they would have released the last of the pressure on his brainstem, which would have meant no more suctioning needed. very sad - or not, depending on how you see it. He would never have been able to lead anything close to a normal life.

  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    He's a youngster from the Buffalo area.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    THANK YOU!!! sheesh i just keep on saying it and i keep getting told no can't be lol. :)
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    TM, it's the same kid in your article.

    Jena, I'm not saying I disbelieve the parents, or don't believe this is an amazing kid. Just that I do not feel there is yet sufficient independently verified evidence for this being what the popular media are calling it as. There is a huge gulf sometimes between how the popular media report something, and what the scientists call it. I've also seen too many scientists (the minority, but a very vocal, publicity-hungry minority) who distort the evidence in order to get attention from the media. As far as I can see, the only statements from anyone with medical training, have come from the one doctor who has been on this case for three years. Other statements are more general, such as a statement on what medical science understands to be necessary in terms of how the human body functions.

    It would be very interesting to do a functional PET scan on this boy, to determine exactly what part of his brain or brain stem is actually doing what task. That knowledge would be invaluable. It is possible that he is too young still, to do this. But clearly there has to be something there that is performing the function. The question is - what is it, and where is it?

    Science is all about asking the right questions. it is also fuelled by healthy scepticism. There is again a huge gulf between scepticism and denial. I am a sceptic, not a denier.

    Somewhere, somehow, there is an explanation. That explanation may well change a lot of what we understand about neurobiology. But it must be investigated carefully and properly, not with sensationalism or secrecy. As I said - I've seen too many scientists abuse their position and use secrecy as a cover for their own deceptions. I could quote cases, publications etc. I've met them. I tried to warn people. I was on the board of a charity being lobbied for funding with these guys, in one case. I did some investigations of my own, in another case. a third case - was published in Lancet, but as a letter only. Nothing verified. But on the basis of one letter to Lancet, the author successfully scavenged millions of dollars in funding from people, with absolutely nothing in return in the form of valid, published research on the topic.

    This case may be genuine - in which case, medical science needs to know more, openly. Or the doctor may be overstating the case, "over-egging the pudding", as they say. Or the doctor may have mis-read the scans. Scans are not perfect - I've had doctors re-order MRIs on me, because the first one did not show enough detail. I suspect this could be the case here - the scan may not have revealed a trace of cerebellum which may have been relocated in Chase's head. It could simply be a flaw of technology.

    But whatever it is - we need to know more, because this could be very important.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That's weird.husband has a patient who has only a brain stem and part of the lower part of her brain. It showed up in utero but the parents decided to give birth anyway. She is a vegetable. I can't remember what he's treating her for, frankly, but as others here has pointed out, the parents take very good care of her.Amazing.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If all this is true, there is no way this kid has balance, language, coordination or the ability to potty train. The pons alone regulates the urine control.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The thing is, Janet. he does. Which is why I think this needs to be carefully, independently evaluated. I have been digging, I found a few old references to various individuals writing online saying, "I was born without a cerebellum." Then the statement gets qualified. "I only have a bit of one." Which means there is something there after all.

    Like the case I mentioned of the uni Maths lecturer with hydrocephalus, there are rare cases where people's brains have adapted amazingly. But there does need to be something there somewhere, to produce function.

    This is very interesting, I really would like to see more info from the scientists on this.

  14. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    Here's my take:

    A long while back I'd heard of a rare instance of cardiac mispositioning...A rare occurance, so rare in fact that most people don't even ever hear about it. This is where the heart is positioned on the right side of the chest cavity instead of the left side where it normally should be. Is it possible this child actually has a cerrebellum but it is being missed or dismissed on his scans as something else because it is NOT where it normally should be? If it was there in sonograms, should it still not be there but perhaps mispostitioned (is that a word lol). Doctors, when doing derifferential diagnosis, sometimes dismiss things too quickly. We've all seen them do that in our own unique situations right. Sometimes it's just something that gets mistaken for something else...

    So there's my take, kid probably has one but it's in a different position than what we would normally see and got dismissed as what it is or missed completely.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i think sometimes things occur which there is no logical explanation for in life. this will have doctor's reeling for a while. it wipes away all we have learned almost of how the human brain functions. this child does walk with-assistance, ride a bike, use scissors, draw, talk, you name it. he seems to be one very happy little boy. so well adjusted to his life. it fascinates me that at this stage of the game with-all we have learned and assigned certain parts of brain to certain functions something like this can happen and throw everyone for a huge loop.

    it's actually great though and promising that maybe we dont' have all the answers yet
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...LOL! You knew that already!!! :wink:
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jena, medicine is a very inexact science. Perhaps more so than other branches of science - biological sciences are the most recent to develop and change, that is where most knowledge in science is breaking older rules. Trouble is, we put doctors on a pedestal higher than they deserve. So an utterance from on high (from the pedestal) is not always spoken with the authority with which we imbue it. We have more faith in doctors than we have in nuclear physicists; and yet nuclear physicists are more certain, despite the Uncertainty Principle!

    We had a fascinating article in our Sydney paper over the weekend, on the difference between scientific scepticism and denial. It reminded me once more that good scientific debate is what drives progress in research, while insistence on only one viewpoint being permitted to be on the table, is what holds it back.

    Long live the question mark! ?

  18. Jena

    Jena New Member

    long live the question mark and that beautiful little boy!! his parents had been thru quite alot so him being who he is with what he's missing truly a miracle. their pregnancy prior the baby passed at 8 weeks old i believe. so its' amazing stuff. i love that we think we know it all and dont' lol. or rather the doctor's. i don't put doctors' on a pedestal i'm always skeptical of them all. tha'Tourette's Syndrome just me. yet this is beyond doctor's this is stuff that's been known or thought to of been known for years. than to have them look inside and say hmmm it's not there how's this kid talking, walking, peeing on his own and riding a bike!!!
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jena, I do wonder - if they had known these test results earlier, would this little boy be able to do what he does so well?

  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Trouble is, we put doctors on a pedestal higher than they deserve. Absolutely!!!