Brain Day

In honor of devoting most of my day to neuro, here is a way interesting bio from a wiki search I did today.

Exceptional case

One interesting case involving a person with past hydrocephalus was a 44-year old French man, whose brain had been reduced to little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue, due to the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in his head. The man, who had had a shunt inserted into his head to drain away fluid (which was removed when he was 14), went to a hospital after he had been experiencing mild weakness in his left leg.
DWS: All of the black in the middle is cerebrospinal fluid and the brain matter is the rim of white along the outside of the skull. This is a screen shot from aFox News report.
In July 2007, Fox News quoted Dr. Lionel Feuillet of Hôpital de la Timone inMarseille as saying: "The images were most unusual... the brain was virtually absent."[10] When doctors learned of the man's medical history, they performed a computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and were astonished to see "massive enlargement" of the lateral ventricles in the skull. Intelligence tests showed the man had an IQ of 75, below the average score of 100. This would be considered "borderline intellectual functioning"- which is to say not quite mental retardation.
Remarkably, the man was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant, leading an at least superficially normal life, despite having enlarged ventricles with a decreased volume of brain tissue. "What I find amazing to this day is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life," commented Dr. Max Muenke, a pediatric brain defect specialist at the National Human Genome Research Institute. "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."[11][12]

I love that site, and speaking of loving web sites I have started a new list of links with some of my favorites or most helpful to date. If you have anything that I should add to my list please let me know....

And since today is self-declared brain day, here is an interesting theory on play. I obviously went to the wrong pre-school. Check out this article in the New York Times Magazine: Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control?

Speaking of self-control I think its time I return to my studies. I think I've developed ADHD since starting medical school but more on that later... Time to pre-read for 2 hours of immuno tomorrow.


What a Week!

I am exhausted. It has been a marathon of a week. To recap- Monday: took Community & Preventative Medicine Final, Tuesday: started a new class (so now my schedule is Immunology, Physiology and Neuroscience- I think the honeymoon is over), Wednesday: was a guest blogger at http://www.mothersinmedicine.com/ (btw- now I'm scared to have kids, childcare sounds like a nightmare, maybe Dr. Boyfriend can retire and be the stay at home dad), Thursday: lecture, lab, gym, buy tix for an event at Fenway, which brings us to today: I had lecture this morning and could barely pay attention I just feel drained and finally physio lab this afternoon. (Yes clinical skills are nice and all but 4pm on a Friday and you are telling me how to interpret an EKG and asking rhetorical question after question. Its time for class to end!) But I made it, week over. Smile. Sigh. Nap-time?

However, I have SO MUCH studying to do this weekend so I can't even take a break. We did cardio in physiology this week and I need to spend some serious time with the beloved Wiggers Diagram. That doesn't sound fun, so here is something more entertaining for you to look at.

 I'll stop complaining now as I'm off to meet my favorite island girl and do questions at my favorite coffee shop until I start drinking, or they close or both. Cheers!


Health Fair?-Check!

So, one of my goals for term 2 was to attend a health fair. And I went to my first today. It was amazing. Sponsored by AMSA and held in the parish of St. George's at a community Center on top of a hill. And quite a large hill, I think it was 1o degrees cooler there with a wonderful breeze blowing through the center which was basically a large cement building about half the size of a football field. I went with Women in Medicine so my job was to take medical histories and perform breast exams. Dr. McGill who is an OB/GYN came to teach us and supervise, she was amazing. I learned a lot. I saw someone with polycystic ovarian disease and examined lots of breasts: patients ranged from teen to elderly. They were fun, grateful and wonderful. I feel in love with each of them. The women who had never had breast exams before, the one who thought she might be pregnant, the ticklish 17 year old, the little boy peeping in from the corner of the our makeshift room, the man who demanded to see the doctor. I had to explain that he could see another doctor, but didn't really need a breast exam or to see "a women's doctor". It was a good day.

I am here for another year and half and I will go back to another health fair or 2 or 3. It is nice to see "life" and people beyond the campus. It was so nice to experience medicine beyond the textbooks. So far, this is my term 2 highlight.