Brain Damage and Neurogenesis

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Within the textbook, there have been many real life examples along with the text. In Chapter 3 I was interested with Broca's Area- a language area in the prefrontal cortex that helps to control speech production (Lilienfeld, 98). The example with this text was a patient named Tan who only responded with the word "Tan" when asked a question, due to brain damage that resulted in a speech disorder.

When some research, I found the case of a young girl named Sarah Scott. She was 18 years old when she had an unexpected ischemic stroke, which resulted in brain damage: a communication disorder called Aphasia, which results from Broca's Area being affected. Attached are three Youtube videos of Sarah answering questions about herself and her condition. The videos span over two years, and I felt that Sarah's improvement is especially important.

From the first video, Sarah has difficulty answering questions about her name and age. During the last video, she answers them easily. Though I thought this may be because of repetition and familiarity, I continued watching and saw that she undoubtedly made improvements. This reminded me of Chapter 3, discussing brain damage and how there is limited regeneration when it occurs (Lilinfeld, 92). However, aside from stem cells, our book mentions another way that may allow regeneration of neurons, and that is Neurogenesis- creation of new neurons in the adult brain.
Though the definition says adult brain, would that be considered 18 years old? It is possible that Sarah's improvement has come from her brain not being completely fully developed as an 'adult' brain.

It is possible that her intensive speech therapy has triggered neurogenesis, because it plays a role in learning. Also, aiding recovery following brain injury may trigger neurogenesis and induce the adult nervous system to heal itself; Sarah is receiving aid through her supportive family, speech therapy, as well as practicing reading and writing.

I feel that this is possibly a case of neurogenesis, although it may also be the fact that Sarah's brain is in the later stage of development. A multiple amount of variables are taking place- her age, her condition, the time that she had the stroke and was given medicine to stop it, her intensive speech therapy as well as her home life. However, it is fascinating to see that neurogenesis could also plausibly be part of the solution of her improvement.

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This page contains a single entry by saly0015 published on October 2, 2011 10:38 PM.

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