Thursday, February 17, 2011

Child With Missing Cerebellum Shows Power of Human Spirit

By Wesley J. Smith, Secondhand Smoke blog

A child born without a cerebellum is learning to walk.

From the story:

A three-year-old boy has baffled doctors after he has started learning to walk, despite missing a key part of his brain. Chase Britton was born prematurely and an MRI scan at the age of one revealed he was completely missing his cerebellum – the part which controls motor skills, balance and emotions. The little boy, who is legally blind, also has no pons – part of the brain stem that regulates basic functions including breathing and sleeping.

But instead of being unable to carry out tasks like sitting up or crawling, Chase has forced experts to rethink how the brain functions. His mother Heather Britton told AOL News: ‘We call him the Little Gremlin. He loves to play tricks on people. His goal in life is to make people smile. ‘No one had ever seen it before. And then we’d go to the neurologists and they’d say, “that’s impossible, he has the MRI of a vegetable”.’ Dr Adre du Plessis, chief of Foetal and Transitional Medicine at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C., told WGRZ: ‘There are some very bright, specialised people across the country and in Europe that have put their minds to this dilemma and are continuing to do so, and we haven’t come up with an answer. Read more

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