Monday, September 2, 2013

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

Dr. Taylor is a neuroanatomist and studies brain layout and function.  So, when she suffered a stroke at age 37, she was prepared. She observed what was happening and discusses what she observed in her book "My Stroke of Insight."  She also has an 18 minute TED talk about the experience and what she learned during it.  She writes:

As a neuroanatomist, I must say that I learned as much about my brain and how it functions during that stroke, as I had in all my years of academia.

Taylor, Jill Bolte (2008-05-12). My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (p. 4). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

She was originally interested in brain studies because it was clear to her and her family that her brother was schizophrenic.  Taylor wondered early on how her brain could be normal and functioning and his not so.


The Wikipedia writes about stroke:

Stroke was the second most frequent cause of death worldwide in 2008, accounting for 6.2 million deaths (~11% of the total). [130] Approximately 9 million people had a stroke in 2008 and 30 million people have previously had a stroke and are still alive.[131] It is ranked after heart disease and before cancer.[2] In the United States stroke is a leading cause of disability, and recently declined from the third leading to the fourth leading cause of death.[1

Jill Bolte Taylor writes about the signs of stroke, which is basically interference with brain blood supply, as in blockage by a blood clot or leakage out of a blood vessel:


S = SPEECH, or any problems with language

T = TINGLING, or any numbness in the body

R = REMEMBER, or any problems with memory

O = OFF BALANCE, problems with coordination


E = EYES, or any problems with vision   

STROKE is a medical emergency.

Call 9-1-1

Taylor, Jill Bolte (2008-05-12). My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (p. 26). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

As you may know, real progress has been made in recent years in limiting damage and restoring function if the victim receives timely medical care.

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