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Man's brain rewired itself in 19 years after crash
MSNBC ^ | July 3, 2006

Posted on 07/03/2006 4:51:05 PM PDT by Alouette

Doctors have proof on how man who was barely conscious for decades woke

Doctors have their first proof that a man who was barely conscious for nearly 20 years regained speech and movement because his brain spontaneously rewired itself by growing tiny new nerve connections to replace the ones sheared apart in a car crash.

Terry Wallis, 42, is thought to be the only person in the United States to recover so dramatically so long after a severe brain injury. He still needs help eating and cannot walk, but his speech continues to improve and he can count to 25 without interruption.

Wallis’ sudden recovery happened three years ago, but doctors said the same cannot be hoped for people in a persistent vegetative state, such as Terry Schiavo, the Florida woman who died last year after a fierce right-to-die court battle. Nor do they know how to make others with less serious damage, like Wallis, recover.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brain; braindead; coma; prolife; sarahscantlin; wallis
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To: CindyDawg

My opinion, and I will leave this discussion on this point, is that even if Terri Schiavo may have recovered with proper care from the beginning and throughout, her brain was irreparably atrophied by the time the above scan was taken in 2002.


51 posted on 07/03/2006 5:52:54 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: AntiGuv

Hey, we found something we agree on. I was talking to a man awhile back. He shook my hand and showed me a ball. He had a stroke and said that his arm had been flacid. He said he constantly squeezed the ball using his other had to open and close but he recovered. You must stimulate the brain or it will die.
As for the cat scan, I don't care. We know Teri had damage. Severe damage. This guy probably does too. I just felt you should post and let people decide for themselves. It's your call though.


52 posted on 07/03/2006 5:56:30 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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Comment #53 Removed by Moderator

To: AntiGuv

HOw bout this. Look at post 12. I'm no radiologist but the X-Ray of "Terri's" skull looks awfully thick. Is it just me?


54 posted on 07/03/2006 6:05:23 PM PDT by saleman
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To: saleman
the X-Ray of "Terri's" skull looks awfully thick

Genetics?

55 posted on 07/03/2006 6:06:32 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (Man Law: You Poke It, You Own It)
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To: AntiGuv
The scan on the left is a normal brain. The scan on the right was the remant of Terri Schiavo's brain: Looks to me as if there wasn't much left to recover.

The picture on the left may be a normal brain scan, but the picture on the right is a postmortem. Being mistreated for a decade and then deliberately dehydrated to death can cause extensive brain damage. There certainly may not have been "much to recover" after her death, but the state of her mental capacity prior to her murder can no longer be determined.

56 posted on 07/03/2006 6:09:04 PM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: Lunatic Fringe

Well, you know we all descended from apes. And I really don't want to get in the middle of this. Just an observation. Is it wrong?


57 posted on 07/03/2006 6:10:02 PM PDT by saleman
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

The one on the right is identified as being from 2002, but I can't totally vouch for that. Although it wasn't authoritative, that's what the link said.


58 posted on 07/03/2006 6:10:51 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: saleman

Yes, I did notice that. I figure that the area that looks solid around her brain includes the cerebral fluid between the brain and the cranium, but I don't know for sure. Any fluid-filled cavities should appear dark though, so far as I know, and I can't guess why it wouldn't be in that CT scan. I am not a doctor anyhow so I'm not really qualified to speculate. Sorry.


59 posted on 07/03/2006 6:16:26 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: Lunatic Fringe

"Careful, my FRiend. There are adamant FReepers around who believe the Schiavo was living a happy life."

Boy how STUPID of us Freepers that supported Terri.

After an accident with an unresolved cause her husband gets her treatment, sues due to claims of malpractice, win a large sum calculated by her husbands claim to take care of her for the rest of her life, after settlement reneges, says she wanted to die under such circumstances, gets pro-death attorney, pro-death judge and she is starved to death by the withholding of food and water and a couple days before she dies, after countless stories of how painless such a complete starvation really is (by the same people that claim a death row inmate that feels pains for a few monents constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment"), the husband's attorney states that "Terri never looked so beautiful.

Please. You goal was achieved - Terri's dead, Michael's alive and you obviously don't give a damn. No one said she was necessarily happy but she showed clear signs of recognition in those videos from a room she was not allowed to leave or have the curtains open. She was worthy of life before the dollars rolled in and then betrayed by her husband and a multitude of others. If their was a living will this would have all been a different story but since there wasn't siding towards life, especially under the murky circumstances, was the right avenue.

PS: Got your living will yet?


60 posted on 07/03/2006 6:17:08 PM PDT by torchthemummy ("Patriotism...means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country” - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: Lunatic Fringe

Eggplant...?


61 posted on 07/03/2006 6:26:49 PM PDT by dakine
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To: Alouette

"...but doctors said the same cannot be hoped for people in a persistent vegetative state, such as Terry Schiavo..."

Certainly not if you kill them, no.

But good for this guy anyway. Medicine learns something.


62 posted on 07/03/2006 6:27:37 PM PDT by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: AntiGuv

Well look, I didn't post the two scans as proof that Terri had no brain function. I'm just saying that if the left and right scans are supposdly the same, they sure look different. And not just in the interior, "brain Damaged" area.

So, like someone posted to me, "Genetics?" Maybe so. Don't apes have lots thicker skulls that humans?

I don't know one way or another but I do wonder if the poster that used this as a valid comparison for normal and abnormal brain scans thinks that the skull on the left is from a human?

I don't know and I don't care. As they say, Ignorance in bliss and I ain't bragging. But unless someone can tell me this is a normal skull on the left and a normal skull on the right then something looks wrong to me.

I'm sure there's a good explanation. Got one?


63 posted on 07/03/2006 6:28:53 PM PDT by saleman
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To: AntiGuv

Do you have the third brain scan of Terri's? The one that shows what it looked like after she was starved/dehydrated to death?


64 posted on 07/03/2006 6:30:28 PM PDT by Figment
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To: AntiGuv
I remember this picture or a picture just like it being released when the results of her autopsy were made public.
65 posted on 07/03/2006 6:34:05 PM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: AntiGuv
AntiGuv said: "a big huge empty gap in a brain scan where a big huge empty gap should not be: "

I seem to recall reading about people who have suffered from hydrocephalus having tremendously abnormal brains yet some of them are quite high functioning. There have also been people who have experienced dramatic damage to the brain in accidents and who have maintained a level of function far beyond anything a person whould suggest justifies euthanasia.

66 posted on 07/03/2006 6:34:30 PM PDT by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: AntiGuv
It would appear to be difficult to tell a fallacious argument from ignorance from a true argument from ignorance from just a general jacking around not knowing anything about the background, knowledge and veracity of the argument proposer and doing some independent literature review of one's own on an unknown topic.
67 posted on 07/03/2006 6:40:06 PM PDT by Paladin2 (If the political indictment's from Fitz, the jury always acquits.)
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To: CindyDawg
It's your call though.

Please excuse me for being rude. But I have a call completely unrelated to cat scans and labels. A very simple call.

Terri Schindler could hear her mother's voice and that voice brought her immense joy.

Too bad there's no medical technology or devices we can use to measure what our own senses tell us about emotion in others. (And to tell certain doctors what it means)

No contribution to hijacking this thread, as I am happy for this man's family.

68 posted on 07/03/2006 6:40:22 PM PDT by ARridgerunner
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To: saleman
Well look, I didn't post the two scans as proof that Terri had no brain function.

To be very clear, I posted the scans as evidence that Terri had a severely atrophied brain, not that she had no brain function, since she obviously did, or else she would've been dead..

And, I do agree with you that the white edge that should indicate the cranium looks a lot thicker than it seems it should in the Terri Schiavo CT scan. I don't know why.

69 posted on 07/03/2006 6:40:22 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: saleman

Oh, and BTW. I kinda do have a dog in this hunt. My Brother, 22yo, died of a brain tumor. Well, actually he died after he fell into a coma and didn't eat or take liquids for two weeks, but what the hell. He stayed in the hospital for 1 1/2 year after his surgery and his family was with him the whole time. He had a very agressive form or cancer and they took a little too much of his brain during surgery. He begged me several times to take him away from the hospital but I didn't. Biggest regret of my life. Oh well.


70 posted on 07/03/2006 6:42:23 PM PDT by saleman
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To: Lunatic Fringe

THat is so wrong LF. I hope you never have an injured or disabled child and have to go what these parents did.


71 posted on 07/03/2006 6:43:54 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Paladin2; CindyDawg

The statement in both the article and the broadcast was crystal clear that his brain was not as severely damaged as hers. Now, you can choose to believe what makes you happy instead, but my comments were predicated on that.

And, at this point I just want to leave this discussion as I've already said. I'm not really interested in it any further. Sorry for being so flippant and dismissive earlier, and goodbye!


72 posted on 07/03/2006 6:45:33 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: William Tell
I not only recall seeing something about the same situation where the center of the skull was empty though the individual was quite functional, but also recall seeing x-rays on TV of Homer Simpson's skull showing the opposite - a perfectly formed, but tiny brain in the middle of Homer's skull surrounded by a vast empty space. ;-)

Quote from the article: "...Until that is known, imaging cannot be used to predict who will recover, or to help patients’ brains rewire, he said."

This would indicate that showing two apples to apples scan slices would be meaningless.

73 posted on 07/03/2006 6:53:03 PM PDT by Paladin2 (If the political indictment's from Fitz, the jury always acquits.)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Yes, since her parents stupidly wanted to keep their eggplant of a daughter around to exploit.

You need to be careful saying this kind of thoughtless garbage. There have been Freepers banned for it. She was born a human being and was one when she died regardless of how you felt about her case.

74 posted on 07/03/2006 6:58:02 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Alouette
1445 views.

Doctors said the same cannot be hoped for people in a persistent vegetative state, such as Terry Schiavo, the Florida woman who died last year after a fierce right-to-die court battle.

One, she was murdered. Two, doctors don't know. Three, we can't even trust that one doctor was asked the specific question about that mockery of diagnosis known as "PVS", and more specifically about the dear Miss Schindler, who was so fiendishly murdered. That is, the reporter or editor may just have thrown in the sentence quoted above, based on fulsome wish and whimsy. And a deadly black wish that is.

75 posted on 07/03/2006 7:00:39 PM PDT by bvw
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To: AntiGuv

And embyros of microgram weight grow to 100 kilograms full adult. Impossible, you'd say, if you'd be less faithful that wonderous logic of death that has taken you in.


76 posted on 07/03/2006 7:03:02 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Alouette
"but doctors said the same cannot be hoped for people in a persistent vegetative state, (or dead), such as Terry Schiavo"

Typically, murdering a person puts a damper on future medical treatment.

77 posted on 07/03/2006 7:05:29 PM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: Lunatic Fringe

"the" ?????


78 posted on 07/03/2006 7:07:14 PM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: villagerjoel

Nice post. But AntiGuv is Lord Poobah of brain scans.


79 posted on 07/03/2006 7:18:52 PM PDT by bvw
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To: bvw
I'm not listening!!

(my view is that a verified written statement from the patient should be required in order to withhold treatment in such a case)

80 posted on 07/03/2006 7:19:16 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: glymers
Thanks for your post. Like the article, your nephew's situation shows how much is still unknown about recovery from brain injury.

Interesting that the experts say they don't really know how these things happen, but declare that this most certainly could not have happened in Terri Schiavo's case. Not that any recent tests had been done to check her brain function -- which of course cannot be done at autopsy.

81 posted on 07/03/2006 7:26:43 PM PDT by cyn
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To: glymers
Thanks for your post. Like the article, your nephew's situation shows how much is still unknown about recovery from brain injury.

Interesting that the experts say they don't really know how these things happen, but declare that this most certainly could not have happened in Terri Schiavo's case. Not that any recent tests had been done to check her brain function -- which of course cannot be done at autopsy.

82 posted on 07/03/2006 7:26:49 PM PDT by cyn
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To: William Tell
Or of the radical surgery that removes half a brain -- hemispherectomy. That leaves a big empty space.

The brain, as this case at the top of thread shows, is a miracle. No scan does it justice. It is full of surprises.

Ask AntiGuv how empty is his heart? Or perhaps it is too full of himself. The heart is also wondrous. AntiGuv may find his one day. We hope.

83 posted on 07/03/2006 7:27:01 PM PDT by bvw
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To: AntiGuv

Well, the small print is healthier. However the sanest view is that current consent be needed and no forward contract for suicide be legal.


84 posted on 07/03/2006 7:29:38 PM PDT by bvw
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To: bvw

There seems to be some vague standard of recovery in these cases. If they can't recover, then.... Certainly a family who is providing the care has more say than a family who throws themselves on the public dole. do the later and find yourself on court TV.


85 posted on 07/03/2006 7:35:10 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Name me one person who thought Terry was living a happy life. I never read anyone's post stating such. But I've read plenty who seem to think she didn't have a right to her life, as difficult as it was. A person's will to live has to be extremely strong to go through what she went through for all those years. When she was unable to speak for herself, she deserved the best care until she passed due to natural causes that weren't expedited by an adulterous husband and a lawyer bent on making his mark in legal and legislative history.
86 posted on 07/03/2006 7:36:13 PM PDT by skr (We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.-- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Yes, since her parents stupidly wanted to keep their eggplant of a daughter around to exploit.

You are the Captain of the Good Ship Moron. If it wasn't so much fun putting you in your place, I wouldn't waste an iota of my existence on you, you poor thing.

87 posted on 07/03/2006 7:36:50 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Rock on, my beautiful America!)
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To: ClaireSolt
Yes, there's a consideration to be made as to who pays and provides. In the Schiavo case her parents, mom and dad and siblings, brother and sister, offered to provide. The Judge ordered her to be starved, while her parents watched helplessly, evilly restrained from providing any drop of water, or even direct company.

In many cases -- such as expereinced by many posters on FR, and everywhere else -- it is the cost and burden of long term care that allows "the process" to go forward. And that process is the removal of food and water. Death by dehydration and stavation while drugged with high doses of pain-killer. Opium weakens the pulse and speeds Death's plow.

That burden and cost -- that, however, is a honest concern. How can it be borne -- we are all not Midas?

88 posted on 07/03/2006 7:44:08 PM PDT by bvw
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To: bvw

I went through this with a young husband who got a brain tumor. My mother-in-lawa and I disagreed.


89 posted on 07/03/2006 7:53:19 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: skr

Schiavo's higher brain function centers were destroyed, replaced by fluid. She had no will to live.


90 posted on 07/03/2006 7:56:54 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (Man Law: You Poke It, You Own It)
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To: ClaireSolt

Whatever happened, I'm sure it was very difficult for you then, and even today in recollection.


91 posted on 07/03/2006 8:12:32 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Alouette
...doctors said the same cannot be hoped for people in a persistent vegetative state, such as Terry Schiavo, the Florida woman who died last year after a fierce right-to-die court battle.

Terri Schindler didn't die, she was killed.

92 posted on 07/03/2006 8:17:08 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all.)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Re: Schiavo's higher brain function centers were destroyed, replaced by fluid. She had no will to live.

Pray tell, how are you qualified to make the first assessment? Furthermore, pray tell your reasoning in assertion of the second?

Self bookmark for possible further commentary on CT, MRI, and Brain SPECT (functional analysis).
93 posted on 07/03/2006 8:50:56 PM PDT by yevgenie (A RINO is just a JACKASS with a RAT'S *** (behind/tail) on its face.)
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To: AntiGuv; CindyDawg; freedumb2003; Lunatic Fringe; Alouette
The scan on the left is a normal brain. The scan on the right was the remant of Terri Schiavo's brain:

Looks to me as if there wasn't much left to recover.

As a radiologist, the first time I saw those those two CT images used to make that point, I thought to myself, "Now there's a classic example of how the media can and will manipulate information."

The CT slice selected to illustrate "the normal brain" has been taken at the axial level of the frontal horns and the third ventricle.

The CT slice selected to illustrate "Schiavo's brain" was taken at the axial level of the lateral ventricles.

The ventricles are cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) filled cavities in your brain. (In purple in the drawing below.) They are supposed to be there. On CT, CSF is black.

The lateral ventricles are the very long, curved ventricles at the top of the ventricular system. The third ventricle is the little ventricle below the lateral ventricles. The frontal horns are the anterior tips of the lateral ventricles that are seen as little pockets of CSF when you clip them with a third ventricle level CT slice.

So, if you take the CT slice at the third ventricle/ frontal horn level, guess what? There are almost no CSF collections there.

But, when you take a CT slice at the level of the lateral ventricles.....WHOAAA!!!.....Big difference! These are mildly dilated lateral ventricles in a 76 year old.

To a layman, especially if they are shown a slice at the third ventricle level as an example of "what a normal brain should look like", the CT slice selected from the lateral ventricle level makes it look as if there were a huge hole in Granny's brain.

No need to try to euthanize Granny because of those lateral ventricles. She will just hit you over the head with her purse and tell you that she is cutting you out of her will as soon as she calls her lawyer in the morning.

There is no doubt the Schiavo had hydrocephalus (and cortical atrophy too) but I have had patients with just as much hydrocephalus with shunts in place walk in and walk out of our CT room.

Schiavo may have had other issues that would have made her a lost cause but, if I showed a layman third ventricle level CT images of a "normal brain" and then showed the layman lateral ventricle level images of any of your brains, I could very easily convince that layman that a significant chunk of your brain was gone.

94 posted on 07/03/2006 9:12:36 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Puddleglum; AntiGuv
How come the sinuses show in the second scan but not the first? Could be comparing apples and oranges?

Yes. See Post 94.

They compared third ventricle axial level apples with fourth ventricle axial level oranges.

The frontal para-nasal sinuses, however, are a red herring. Frontal sinuses vary in every individual and are sometimes huge and sometimes congenitally absent. Whether you see them or not at a certain axial level is therefore of little significance as an anatomical landmark.

95 posted on 07/03/2006 9:21:42 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Polybius; CindyDawg

Thanks for the info and based on your comments my earlier remarks were off-base. I haven't seen those scans explained that way before fwiw. Anyhow, sorry if my comments were misleading! I'm gonna go back to my policy of never touching this subject again. :)


96 posted on 07/03/2006 9:25:38 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: glymers

Amen.


97 posted on 07/03/2006 9:28:54 PM PDT by tioga
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To: Polybius

Thanks for explaining. I still have trouble with just plain ole xrays:')


98 posted on 07/03/2006 9:34:46 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: AntiGuv; Puddleglum
Beats me, so here's a normal brain with sinuses:

That would be a normal brain with the slice at the level of the third ventricle and the basal ganglia.

Here is a normal brain with the slice at the level of the lateral ventricles:

If I showed the first image as an example of a "normal" brain and then showed the second image as an example of your brain, I could convince a layman that you had something seriously wrong with your brain.

Schiavo certainly had something wrong with her brain but when the media compared third ventricle level images of a normal brain with lateral ventricle level images of her brain, they were using image manipultion to grossly exaggerate the difference between her brain and a normal brain.

99 posted on 07/03/2006 9:39:13 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Polybius
Schiavo may have had other issues that would have made her a lost cause but, if I showed a layman third ventricle level CT images of a "normal brain" and then showed the layman lateral ventricle level images of any of your brains, I could very easily convince that layman that a significant chunk of your brain was gone.

So the MDs and neuroscientists lied on the stand? And the coroners?

Is there are reason you are a radiologist and not an MD? No offense, but is there some chance the MDs and PhDs might have some information you don't? Or do you know more than them and decided to just stop?

100 posted on 07/03/2006 9:42:32 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Let them die of thirst in the dark.)
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