"Upon diagnosis, doctors will often state that a child with hydranencephaly 'doesn’t have a brain'. This isn’t an entirely true statement – most generally the cerebral hemispheres are the only areas affected, but in more severe cases other areas can present as damaged or absent as well."
"...does not have a brain" - shouldn't that mean that a child cannot survive?
Here is exactly what a diagnosis of hydranencephaly truly means - I'll try to avoid medical jargon.
Here is the brain:
The curly, wormy looking areas (cortex) are missing to a large degree in a child with hydranencephaly - both hemispheres are most often affected, but in very rare occurrences only one side is affected (hemi-hydranencephaly).
To give you an even better visual - here are brain images side by side. These are my own son, Brayden Alexander's, brain scans from diagnosis on July 1, 2008 in comparison to a typically developing brain scan.
|Brayden's Brain MRI with hydranencephaly|
|Healthy Brain MRI|
Here are some links to other blogposts on this topic:
Brain Awareness Week: Believe in the Impossible!
Vegetative State of Mind