Friday, September 20, 2019

Box Full of Full of Brains



I had heard about Paul Aravich, but this was the first time I had heard him speak.  He is a professor at a medical school, and he lectures on dementia and brain health. His reputation precedes him, because he travels with a plastic box full of human brains.  Normal brains, the brain of a person who had dementia, half of the brain of a person who died from a massive stroke (in the very core of her brain) and the brain of a person who died from a traumatic brain injury clearly showing the bleeding into the brain tissue.  When he puts on the rubber gloves, and reaches into that box, everyone in the room looks up from their phone, or pulls their phone out to take pictures.  Forget the PowerPoints, this man knows the power of a visual aid in speaking.  

Over the past 20 years understanding of dementia has vastly expanded, but there are still so many mysteries.  

He also had a spinal cord.  I had never seen one. I was fascinated by the branches that come out of the sides, at each vertebra.  On the right side, at T-9, that branch no longer connects to anything on my spine.  I knew there was no longer a connection at that point, I had never seen what that connection might look like. 

He had a table outside of the ballroom, with gloves, he would hand you a brain.  I declined, I am slightly weirded out by the idea.  

Would you hold the brain?  

12 comments:

  1. Sure. I handle raw meat all the time. No difference. As long as it doesn't smell like raw fish, I'm good to go.

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    1. They are soaked in alcohol

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    2. Cool! I had no problem dissecting frogs, giant grasshoppers and such during high school biology classes. The only thing that got to me was when we were doing fish. Most of them were pickled, or whatever, but one guy volunteered to do the unpickled, not so fresh fish. Stunk up the whole class! Forty-five years later, I still remember :)

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  2. Yes, I would hold one. It would be interesting to see how squishy it is and the weight.

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    1. He said the brains firm up with age,

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  3. ew ew ew! squick me out! (runs screaming from the room like a little girl)

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  4. I’m not sure. It would be fascinating and I worked as a graphic artist in medical illustration a long time ago, so drew some things (from life) that surprised me.

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    1. One thing to see, another to hold in your hands

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  5. been there; done that. often.

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    1. I was hoping you would see this one.

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  6. Brains soaked in alcohol... Hmmmmmmmm...

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