Doctors cut out a large chunk of a boy’s brain—now he’s doing just fine
A boy who had large parts of the right side of his brain removed due to a slow-growing tumor made a nearly full recovery in the three years after his surgery, with other areas of his brain compensating for the loss, researchers reveal this week in Cell Reports.
Their case study highlights the brain’s tremendous ability to adapt to such losses and will help researchers better understand how, exactly, parts of the brain can accommodate such losses, the researchers write.
The boy, identified as UD in the case study, was a healthy, normal kid—up until he suddenly suffered a seizure at age four. He subsequently developed intractable epilepsy due to the tumor. When he was nearly seven years old, his parents and doctors made the tough decision to surgically remove the mass. That also meant removing the entire right side of his occipital lobe and part of his temporal lobe on his right side. Together, the extracted sections accounted for a third of the right hemisphere of UD’s brain.