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sábado, agosto 19, 2006 

Lo bueno de Slashdot

No son las historias, sino la gente que pone comentarios. Al haber tantos usuarios siempre hay algunos que son autoridades en el tema que sea.

Bueno, pués hoy pusieron un artículo sobre el tálamo cerebral y la influencia del oxido nítrico sobre él. Uno de los comentarios, de un epiléptico, describiendo lo que siente a medida que va retomando todas sus facultades mentales después de un ataque, es ALUCINANTE. No he podido evitar copiarlo aquí aunque esté en inglés. Seguro que a Pieter le mola un montón leerlo, (él también ha tenido ataques de epilepsia y puede haber sentido cosas parecidas).

"I used to study neuroscience. The thalamus is a HUGE bank of relay switches in the brain- all these trunk cables go into it from all over. Basically anything you're paying attention to involves some circuit going through the thalamus, and the way the thalamus works is what limits your ability to focus on multiple things at once. Once something becomes rote- like QWERTY typing or good guitar playing- the thalamus is no longer involved.

I have epilepsy- really bad seizures- and my brain gets really messed up on restarts because it regains function piece by piece. Occasionally I'll be totally conscious (forming some long term memories again), and watching stuff come back online- I can hear, then I can see, then I can recognize things I see, etc. There are intermediate states where I can see but not recognize things. The seizures start in the right temporal lobe, so the right hemisphere is completely screwed up, but if my left brain works I can compensate with higher functions. Usually I'm looking for water fountains because my head is really hot and sweaty after a seizure. I'll find a water fountain and think, is this a water fountain? Well it has a stream of stuff that looks drinkable... it has a thing coming out the side that you can turn... it MUST be a water fountain! I almost pissed on my wife's chair once after somehow figuring it was a toilet. But without thalamic activity I'd never be able to patch right brain functions and send sensory information to the forebrain from the left side. If I'm able to pay attention to something at all, then there is some thalamic function. Recognizing it is a different task.

The ability to form long term memories comes later and is a more distributed gradual process as areas of the cortex recover. I was in this cubicle working once... doing simple stuff like cleaning up someone's crappy code... then I started doing more mentally intense work, and I turned around after an hour or two and noticed my cubicle was a mess. Everyone said, "you had a seizure a few hours ago, don't you remember?"

Recently my brain has been passing through a metastable fugue state after really nasty seizures where I have partial function, but it's not me yet- it's like someone else. I answer yes/no questions completely differently, I don't recognize my wife, I fight with people if they get in my way, and I don't know where I'm going but I'm going somewhere, sometimes out the door. Usually no new memories are being formed; I have to go by what people tell me afterward. Apparently I'm getting better at fooling people in the fugue state because my speech in the fugue is starting to almost sound normal even though I have only partial brain function. One of these days I'm going to regain consciousness in jail."

Aquí está el enlace a la discusión en Slashdot

Pues si, algo asi me pasaba a mi, pero tambien antes the tener el ataque. El cerebro no se desconecta subitamente, lo hace poco a poco hasta que se apaga completamente y estas tirado en el suelo. Casi siempre era capaz de reconocer los sintomas, pero era incapaz de comunicar de ninguna manera lo que inminentemente iba a ocurrir. Podia, despues de varios ataques,dirigirme a la cama o tumbarme en el suelo o el sofa para evitar golpearme la cabeza, pero si algien preguntaba si me encontraba bien, la respuesta era siempre "si", sabiendo perfectamente lo que iba a pasar pero incapaz de comunicarlo.

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