Brain Damage, When and How?

maxwell mmmaxwell at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 17 07:58:48 EST 2001

----- Original Message ----- 
From: John H <John at faraway.com.au>
Newsgroups: bionet.neuroscience
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 2:25 AM
Subject: Re: Brain Damage, When and How?

> I suspect Asperger's itself involves some brain damage. As to the cause,
> take it from someone who spent years - unsuccessfully - trying to establish
> the causes for various sub-clinical (perhaps!) neuro pathologies. I had lots
> of neurosurgery as a child that left me with bits of brain damage but
> unfortunately and strangely all the medical records have disappeared. I have
> relapsing dysthymia, traces of ADD, chronic insomnia, absolutely hate tests
> of every kind(perhaps an aversion induced from years of post operative
> therapy and tests), and generally quite a chaotic life (attempted Uni 6
> times but dropped out despite being at honours level).

Interesting parallels with my own symptomology. Besides my earlier mentioned ADD, etc., my own sleep patterns have been fragmented and somewhat non-circadian since at least as early as age 10, dysthymia was sufficiently present to warrant a disability determination by the government, and my contacts with emdees are near-always the result of crisis events-- not 'routine checks.'  

Also, my first two attempts at Uni ran respectively 1 and 2 1/2 semestres, in my twenties, and I never finished 2ary school previously (GED exam).
It was only after many years of chronic self-medication with cannabis and occasional drinking intervals (of months-long durations) and subsequent to near-death from abdominal ailment, that I marched myself into Uni and stayed the distance (many years after I'd done similar WRT here-and-now oriented therapy)

 I don't bother trying
> to 'figure myself out' anymore and the professionals certainly have given up
> on me. So then, my best advice for you is:
> "It's easier to lie on a couch digging into the past than it is to sit on a
> chair facing the present. It is even harder to get up and walk toward the future."

Thank you for that-- I've never before said it so well.

> However, I will say that putting time into studying and thinking about your
> conditions and possible remedies to the same is always worthwhile. I have
> been slowly improving most of my life (now 42) and one reason for this has
> been my constant searching for solutions. I was very lucky, an old poster
> here helped a great deal, gave some good leads to think about. So keep
> looking, you may find a soul who can help you along. One warning though, be
> wary of strangers bearing gifts. Some say anything can be cured but I prefer
> this admonition:
> "There's always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible,
> and wrong."
> H L Mencken.

So often true.
> Maxwell is correct the oxy depriv can easily cause diffuse damage though
> certain regions appear more vulnerable than others (hippocampus,
> striatum???). 

_Roughly_ divisible into decrements of episodic and procedural memory, respectively.

I suggest you follow his lead, don't spend too much time
> looking for causes, rather focus on solutions. It may not be anoxia, we
> don't know what causes Aspergers or any number of ... . If you keep looking
> backward you'll stumble when you try to move forward. Don't despair, look at
> what Maxwell is now doing for a living. Most with neuro pathologies fall by
> the wayside, some manage to get through one way or the other (like myself)
> and some like Maxwell do quite well. Just do your best.

On _some_ days I do quite amazingly well, and am know as one of the few most likely to elicit from colloquia presenters the reply "That's a very good question." (scientist talk for 'how did we miss that?'), while because there are many days when my attention span is still extremely diffuse, I fall behind on work schedules, and maintain no illusions to actually do other than small modules of ongoing larger projects. So far, anyway.
Still, perseverance furthers, and chronic desires may serve to offset chronic decrements.
..hmm- pretty psychodynamic for a substrate guy...  ..mea culpa..   ;~)

> John H.
> Larry <NDA at larry-arnold.com> wrote in message
> news:9iudpu$tdi$1 at news6.svr.pol.co.uk...
> > When I was dx'd with Asperger's syndrome the pyscologist said that I might
> > also have sustained some brain damage in infancy which accounted for some
> of my additional lerning problems.
> >
> > I have speculated long and hard about how this might have happened.
> >
> > My parents are no longer alive to tell me whether my birth was in any way
> > unusaul, all I know is that at 7 months old I was rushed into hospital as
> my lips had turned blue, It was pneumonia and I guess that I might have been
> > starved of oxygen at this point as I was immediatly put into an oxygen tent.
> >
> > Could this have caused lasting damage ?
> > Larry

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