Can you be alive with half a brain?

Can you be alive with half a brain?

“As remarkable as it is that there are individuals who can live with half a brain, sometimes a very small brain lesion — like a stroke or a traumatic brain injury or a tumor — can have devastating effects,” she noted.

What can you do with half a brain?

Infants and young children do surprisingly well after the surgical removal or disconnection of up to half of their brain. Most can talk, walk and even run. These exceptional children are proof of baby brain neuroplasticity. This heroic surgery is done to treat severe, uncontrolled seizures.

How common is hemispherectomy?

A hemispherectomy is a rare surgery where half of the brain is either removed or disconnected from the other half. It’s performed on children and adults who have seizures that don’t respond to medicine.

Who invented hemispherectomy?

The first known hemispherectomy was performed on a dog in 1888 by German physiologist Friedrich Goltz. In humans, neurosurgeon Walter Dandy pioneered the operation at Johns Hopkins University in 1923 on a brain tumor patient. (That man lived for more than three years before ultimately succumbing to cancer.)

What are the side effects of hemispherectomy?

Other possible risks and side effects of having hemispherectomy surgery include:

  • No improvement in seizures.
  • Brain swelling.
  • Damage to the healthy half of the brain.
  • Numbness in the scalp.
  • Feelings of depression and tiredness.
  • Functional problems with speech, language, memory, and peripheral vision.
  • Headaches and nausea.

What is the success rate of hemispherectomy?

How effective is hemispherectomy? Two-thirds of children who undergo hemispherectomy are completely seizure-free and another 15-20% have a substantial reduction of seizures.

Who performs a hemispherectomy?

Complete removal of one hemisphere has some associated complications, so some neurosurgeons prefer to perform a functional hemispherectomy, in which only some sections of the brain are removed and other sections are disconnected.

How risky is a hemispherectomy?

Most children have excellent long-term results following a hemispherectomy. Occasionally, however, some complications may occur: Early complications, which occur either while the operation is happening or immediately after it, include blood loss, electrolyte changes, hypothermia and aseptic meningitis.

Why do people get hemispherectomy?

Hemispherectomy is often used for intractable seizures associated with hemimegalencephaly (overgrowth of one side of the brain). Hemispherectomy is also used in children with a dysfunctional hemisphere as a result of Rasmussen’s encephalitis or Sturge-Weber syndrome.

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