brain damage

F. Frank LeFever flefever at
Sun Nov 22 22:12:54 EST 1998

First, to get more fruitful results for searches (e.g. Medline),
correct the spelling: not "basil" (like in the herb), but "basal".

Much depends on exactly how much and where.  At an extreme, damage to
the basal ganglia might involve Parkinsonian sorts of symptoms--e.g.
tremors, motoric problems of various sorts.  In mild Parkinsonism,
these are subtle.  Cognitive effects are also very subtle, detectable
but not really handicapping except in severe manifestations late in the
disease progression--and there is no reason, I think, to expect
proogression in cases such as what you describe.

As for "self healing"; not exactly, but compensatory reactions might be
expected.  Coincidentally, my paper at the Society for Neuroscience
meeting just passed (LA, Nov. 8-12) touched on this.  I cited an animal
model of Parkinsonism (Snyder, A.M. et al., Annals of Neurology 1985,
18, 544-551) in which VERY extensive damage to the rat's caudate (major
part of the basal ganglia) was compensated for (perhaps by
upregulation--i.e. increase--of dopamine receptors?  sprouting of axons
of remaining dopaminergic neurons?).  The rats appeared normal.

However, when stressed (and several types of stressors were used)
motoric symptoms emerged.  This was interpreted in terms of the
caudate's responsiveness to stress, and the rapid depletion of dopamine
by its response, to a point too low for the compensatory mechanisms. 
This was reversible: i.e., return to normal behavior after a period of

The watchword: "wait and see".  Outcome may not be so bad as it sounds.
 If similar compensatory mechanisms are sufficient in this case, there
may be no obvious signs of any injury in future years.  IF however
there are momentary motoric or (perhaps) attentional problems, i.e.,
episodically, from time to time, keep in mind this poossibility of
temporary decompensation during stress.

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group

In <73a67q$dqd$1 at>
roshi.corp at (Chuck Davis ) writes: 
>On 22 Nov 1998 21:52:44 GMT, bkerber1 at (Bkerber1) wrote:
>> Could someone tell me what damage to the basil ganglia will do to 
>my 2 month
>> old granddaughter. She had meningitis and also has possible damage 
>in 3 small
>> areas of the cortex, which after reading, have found those may 
>possibly rewire.
>> I know there is definate damage to the basil ganglia but dont know 
>if its
>> possible it will self heal or is the damage to that area permenant? 
>Thank you
>> for your help
>> Becky Kerber
>Becky, checkout
> They're pretty good, if anything can be done. 
>Chuck Davis... roshicorp at

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