Validity of CAT Scan Images

TONYJEFFS tonyjeffs at aol.com
Sat Nov 7 03:40:59 EST 1998


I'm a second year Biology BSc student, so I'm certainly no expert...Part time,
too, so not for many years yet!  So please  don't take my comments as
authouritative.   


I understand that to an extent it is possible during prenatal, and early
postnatal development for the brain to 're-allocate' functions to different
parts of the cortex if the more usual part is damaged.  The brain is still fine
wiring many of its connections in the early days and even years of life. (eg It
takes several years for all of the 'visual' connections to be made)  So if a
part of, say,  the motor cortex is damaged at birth - let us say for example
the part that usually controls right hand movement is injured - the developing
neonatal brain has a  capacity to re-allocate that function to a different part
of the brain, probably by cramming up the rest of the motor functions into a
slightly smaller space so that there is room for the 'hand' circuitry.

Something comparable happens in later life. If you lose hearing in a certain
frequency range, the brain re-allocates the now redundant 'hearing' cells in
the auditory cortex so that they can 'listen to' other nearbye frequencies.

Another example:  Speech is enabled in part by Broca's area, a region that for
most people resides on the left side of the brain.  (A few people have it on
the right).  If there is very early damage to the  site on the left side of the
brain, it is believed that the speech function will develop in the
Broca-equivalent area on the left.
ie Damage to that area at a very early age doesn't prevent speech develpment.

In conclusion, I think it is possible that since the damage was detected at
such an early stage, it is quite possible that at least some of it will be
surmounted and overcome during the 'set up' process that  is still taking place
in the fine-wiring of your son's brain.

All the best
I hope everything works out well.

Tony



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