Friday, July 20, 2007
From Spiegel Online: Tiny Brain No Problem for French Tax Official:
Something that many people secretly believed has been confirmed: You don't actually need a brain to work in a tax office. A French civil servant has been found to have a huge cavity filled with fluid in his head -- yet lives a completely normal life.
The commonly spouted wisdom that people only use 10% of their brain power may have been dismissed as a myth, but one French man seems to be managing fine with just a small fraction of his actual brain. ...
Neurologists at the University of Marseille described the incredible case in the latest edition of the medical journal Lancet published Friday. They describe how the 44-year-old man went to the hospital in 2003 because he felt a mild weakness in his left leg. When the doctors went to look at his brain to see if the problem lay there, they found, well, pretty much nothing but a great black hole. ...
Tests showed that the man's IQ is 75 -- the average is 100 -- but he was not considered physically or mentally disabled. Fuillet said that his condition had not impared his development or his socialization. He is married with two children and works in the tax office -- which is perhaps not the most "taxing" of jobs. "The case is extreme, but there are other cases of patients with incredibly little brain matter," Florian Heinen, a brain development expert at the Dr. von Hauner's Children's Hospital at Munich University, explained to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
(Hat Tip: Anand Desai.)