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Lecture 21

PSYC 211 Lecture 21: PSYC211 November 27th

15 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 211
Jonathan Britt

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th November 27 Toward an understanding of writing Writing depends on knowing The words you want to use Proper grammatical structure Specific motor commands that control the hand There can be very specific deficits in motor programs caused by brain damage. For example, people can have trouble writing: Letters but not numbers Lowercase but not uppercase letters Vowels but not consonants Print but not cursive Letters in the correct order Trouble with writing is called dysgraphia. When writing a word, spelling it can be accomplished by: Phonetically sounding out the word Phonological dysgraphia is a condition where people cannot spell words by sounding them out (common in Brocas aphasia). They can only write words by imagining how they look. Thus, they have to be very familiar with how the word looks or they cannot write it. They cannot write non-words that sound fine, like blint or vak. They have trouble using their muscles in deciding how to articulate the words Visually imagining the word Orthographic dysgraphia is a condition where people cannot spell words by visualizing them (common in people with damage to VWFA). They can only sound words out, which means they cannot correctly spell any words that have an irregular spelling (half -- haff; busy -- bizzy). Traumatic brain injury Closed-Head Injury Caused by a blow to the head with a blunt object The head is not pierced The damage is just physical compressions The brain comes into violent contact with the inside of the skull (coup) The brain then recoils in the opposite direction and smashes against the skull again (contrecoup) Open Head Injuries Penetrating brain injuries (also called open head injuries) obviously cause damage to the portion of the brain that is damaged by the object or the bone So there is some kind of penetration/piercing of the head Blood can lead into the brain There is not necessarily a coup and a contecoup In addition, damage to blood vessels can deprive parts of the brain of their normal blood supply Accumulation of blood within the brain can cause further damage by exerting pressure within the brain Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious health problem In the United States alone, approximately 1.4 million people visit an emergency room for TBI, 270,000 people are hospitalized, and 52,000 people die from it. Almost a third of deaths caused by injury involve TBI. In survivors, scarring often forms within the brain, around the sites of injury, which increases risk of developing seizures. Many people receive brain injuries but are not diagnosed. Even mild cases of TBI (mTBI) greatly increase a person's risk of developing brain problems down the road. For example, the likelihood of Alzheimer's disease is much higher in a person who has received blows to the head earlier in life. Athletes (often for violent sports like football) have more chances of having disorders like Alzheimers Tumors Tumor Mass of cells whose growth is uncontrolled and that serves no useful function Cells that can result in cancer Cells that divide uncontrollably Every time a cell divides, there is a risk that genetic information will not be copied perfectly We have proteins that regulate this Tumors are groups of cells with several mutations that caused cell regulation to go wrong (apoptosis did not happen successfully) Tumors can be benign or cancerous Benign tumor Noncancerous (literally, harmless) tumor Has distinct border and cannot metastasize Border ensure that tumor does not affect the rest of the body No border: cancerous tumor No divide between cancerous cells and healthy cells nearby The major distinction between malignancy and benignancy is whether the tumor is encapsulated: whether there is a distinct border between the mass of tumor cells and the surrounding tissue If there is such a border, tumor is benign; the surgeon can cut it out, and it will not regrow However, if the tumor is cancerous it grows by infiltrating the surrounding tissue, and there will be no clear-cut border between tumor and normal tissue When surgeons remove malignant tumors, some cancer cells are often missed, and these cells will produce new tumors Malignant tumor Cancerous (literally, harm-producing) tumor Lacks distinct border and may metastasize What we call cancer Metastasis Process by which cells break off of a tumor, travel through the vascular system, and grow elsewhere in the body Any tumor growing in the brain, malignant or benign, can produce neurological symptoms and threaten the patient's life Tumors damage brain tissue by two means: compression and infiltration. Even a benign tumor occupies space and thus pushes against the brain Compression can directly destroy brain tissue, or it can do so indirectly by blocking flow of cerebrospinal fluid and causing hydrocephalus
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