The Man with No Brain ?

Was this CAT scan verified, has John Lorber's work been proved to be wishful thinking or exaggeration, does anyone else continue to do such work ?


Is it too weird to even investigate ? There must be a scientific answer, but for now we don't want to think about it ?

Later, a colleague at Sheffield University became aware of a young man with a larger than normal head. He was referred to Lorber even though it had not caused him any difficulty. Although the boy had an IQ of 126 and had a first class honours degree in mathematics, he had "virtually no brain". A noninvasive measurement of radio density known as CAT scan showed the boy's skull was lined with a thin layer of brain cells to a millimeter in thickness. The rest of his skull was filled with cerebrospinal fluid. The young man continues a normal life with the exception of his knowledge that he has no brain.
(sorry I know the link is dead)

In hydrocephalus the brain is not missing it is just compressed. When the fluid pressure is released the brain springs back.

It is perhaps significant that many of the instances in which gross enlargement of cerebral ventricles is compatible with normal life are cases where the condition develops slowly. Gross surgical lesions in rat brains are known to inflict severe functional disruption, but if the same damage is done bit by bit over a long period of time, the dysfunction can be minimal. Just as the rat brains appear to cope with a stepwise reduction of available hardware, so too do the human brains in some cases of hydrocephalus.
A group of researchers based at the New York University Medical Center has assembled a picture of the histological changes associated with hydrocephalus through experimental induction of the condition in cats. The group also observed the changes in tissue structure following the implantation of a shunt, the experimental equivalent to the normal treatment of hydrocephalus in humans. Speaking for the group, Fred Epstein says the following: "Hydrocephalus is principally a disease of the white matter. As the ventricles enlarge the layers of fibres above them begin to be stretched and very quickly they are disrupted, with the axons and the myelin sheaths surrounding them breaking down. Even in severe and extended hydrocephalus, however, the nerve cells in the gray matter were remarkably spared, though eventually there began to be a loss here too." The sparing of the gray matter even in severe hydrocephalus could go some way to explaining the remarkable retention of many normal functions in severely affected individuals.

Crucial to the approach to treatment of hydrocephalus is the brain's ability to recuperate following the release of fluid pressure when a shunt is implanted. One of the canons of neurobiology is that, once damaged, cells in the central nervous system are unable to repair themselves. Does Lorber's work dent this hallowed concept too? "When you implant a shunt in a young hydrocephalic child you often see complete restoration of overall brain structure, even in cases where initially there is no detectable mantle,"claims Lorber. "There must be true regeneration of brain substance in some sense, but I'm not necessarily saying that nerve cells regenerate,"he says cautiously; "I don't think anyone knows fully about that."

What, then, is happening when a hydrocephalic brain rebounds from being a thin layer lining a fluid-filled cranium to become an apparently normal structure when released from hydrostatic pressure? According to Epstein and on the basis of his colleagues' observations on experimental cats, the term rebound aptly describes the reconstitution process, with stretched fibres shortening, thus diminishing the previously expanded ventricular space. Within a short time scar tissue forms, constructed from the glial cells that pack between the nerve cells. "The reconstitution of the mantle,"report Epstein and his colleagues, "does not result in the reformation of lost elements, but rather in the formation of aglial scar and possibly a return to function of the remaining elements."

White matter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
White matter, long thought to be passive tissue, actively affects how the brain learns and dysfunctions. Although gray matter (composed of neurons) does the brain's thinking and calculating, white matter (composed of myelin-coated axons) controls the signals that neurons share, coordinating how well brain regions work together.[2]
(sorry I know the link is dead)

In hydrocephalus the brain is not missing it is just compressed. When the fluid pressure is released the brain springs back.

But the reduction in brain tissue was extreme, even if it happened slowly over a long period of time. Apparently there was only somewhere between 50 and 150 grams of brain tissue left, a thin layer of a millimeter or so under the skull. This was apparently almost exclusively grey matter (cerebral neurons), with no white matter. This is compared with the normal brain weighing between 1200 and 1500 grams. Despite this, the patient, Roger, had a measured IQ of 128. No matter how you look at it, it is an anomaly that has not been explained, and seems to put in question the mind=brain mantra.
If it was really that stunning, Lorber should have written it up. He didn't, it was Lorber's party piece, he liked to wheel it out to stir people up.