Doctors Discover Man Has Lived 60 Years With Half His Brain
While you might think that might limit you, the pensioner has served in the armed forces, raised a family, and has a university degree.
Of course, you can't become an engineer without having a few smarts about you.
Basically, the brain has - or is supposed to have - two hemispheres, left and right. This man was found to be missing the left hemisphere of his brain. A scan showed up a 'black hole' in his skull.
The medical staff who examined him believe that his cases is 'unique' but have agreed to respect the man's wishes for privacy and not reveal his identity. He also rejected their pleas for permission to perform further tests on him.
One of the neurologists in Moscow who examined the man, Marina Anikina, said: "The man was admitted to a district clinic in the south of Moscow region due to an ischemic attack.
"This is a blood circulation failure in the brain. It is different from a stroke when part of the brain is irreversibly damaged.
"This patient had problems moving one arm and one leg. Radiologists performed a computer tomography of his head and were puzzled for some time - the part of the brain of the retired man where the ischemia attack was supposed to have happened was not there at all.
"Instead of the left side of the brain there was a black 'hole' in computer images."
It appears that for the entirety of this man's life he had just relied on the right side of his brain to perform all tasks.
Well, it seems to have gone OK for him.
The man himself said that he just wants to be left alone. He told the doctors: "I have lived a normal life, nothing worried me at all.
"And now I do not want any kind of popularity."
The patient grew up in the Soviet era, and had no problems reported with his physical or mental state. He's got good eyesight and developed physically as any ordinary child.
He did OK at school and managed to get an engineering degree before being conscripted into the Red Army.
He married, had kids, and has now retired. So far, so normal.
Dr Anikina continued: "Scientists are aware of certain cases when parts of the brain were missing.
"It often happens with the people who suffer from cerebral infantile paralysis.
"Their intellect is fine but almost always they have problems with moving around.
"In this recent case we face a different situation when the failure in brain development took place at an earlier stage of pregnancy, possibly in the embryo.
"Maybe it was blood effusion or some other dramatic event. It usually leads to miscarriage but in this very unique case it ended quite successfully.
"At this stage of pregnancy the functions of [the] embryo's brain are not assigned to certain centres in the brain.
"When one half was damaged, the second half simply got hold of all functions."
She also noted that if the man had been conceived today - with technology we have to detect such problems - his mother would have been recommended to abort for medical reasons.
Featured Image Credit: East2West News