Civil Servant´s Brain is Missing

 Skrevet av Alexander G. Rubio - Publisert 21.07.2007 kl. 23:24 (Oppdatert 23.07.2007 kl. 00:41)

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Most people have probably, at one point or another expressed the opinion that some civil servant was a bit lacking for brains. But seldom did it turn out to be so literally true. A 44 year old French civil servant has been going about his life, marriage, and job, with what turns out to be a head filled almost entirely with fluid.

The rare condition was discovered almost by accident, when the 44 year old went to a Marseille hospital to diagnose a mild weakness in his left leg. looking into his past medical history, Dr Lionel Feuillet of the Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseille found that as a child, the man had had a shunt inserted into his head to drain away water on the brain, according to a letter he later sent to to the Lancet medical journal. Subsequent MRI scans revealed the shocking truth. They showed that the lateral ventricles, normally tiny chambers that hold the fluid that cushions the brain from impacts and trauma, were abnormally enlarged, filling the bulk of the volume usually occupied by the brain.

Intelligence tests showed the man to have an IQ of 75, well below the average 100, but not so low as to be regarded as a case of mental retardation. "He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant," added Dr Feuillet.

"What I find amazing to this day is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life," said Dr Max Muenke, a brain specialist at the National Human Genome Research Institute, told Ananova.

"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."

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