Even though doctors only gave him a grim life expectancy of a couple of days, a baby born with a partially developed brain exceeds expectations, reaching the age of 15 months old and finally getting to meet Santa.
The infant was born with a rare condition named Microhydranecephaly, in which the brain doesn’t fully develop, being replaced with a build-up of cerebral spinal fluids. This disease cannot be currently treated, with only a couple of ways to ameliorate the symptoms. This can be achieved through the introduction of a tube in order to release the spinal fluid build-up in the patient’s brain.
Externally, the patient will have ridges on his skull and a decrease in the size of his head, named microencephaly. The internal symptoms caused by this illness are severe to say the least. A slower brain development rate, as well as an extreme vulnerability towards mental illnesses, are the usual symptoms present.
Even though this disease is created by the fluid build-up, the basis of Microhydranecephaly has yet to be discovered, but it is believed that in some cases it stems from the mutation of the NDE1 gene. The way in which this gene suffers modifications has yet to be agreed upon, but a theory claims that it could be inherited in a manner which is both autosomal and recessive. The problems come from the fact that almost every patient that suffers from this illness has different symptoms as well as a different cause for its occurrence.
The infant was born last year in August and is named Jaxon Buell. His parents couldn’t be happier seeing him in the arms of Father Christmas, taking into account that the child should have had a rather short life, as doctors claimed when he was born. This can truly be considered a phenomenon similar to a Christmas miracle.
What is surprising is that the baby is actually starting to improve, his parents claiming that he has learned to talk, make baby steps and even smile and laugh. This is extremely favorable for the young one and is mainly due to the large plasticity that an infant’s brain has, being capable of replacing parts that it misses.
Because of this plasticity, in theory, you could split a brain in two during its infant stage and the two halves would act independently of one another, creating two separate functioning brains, even if at a capacity lower than a normal full brain.
It is unclear if the child will have a normal life in the coming future, but considering the rapid rate in which medical science, as well as technology, has advanced in the past year, he might still have a chance at a normal life. Unfortunately, this is only speculation at this point, with the baby’s parents trying to make each day matter, giving little Jaxon the time of his life.
But the fact that a baby born with a partially developed brain exceeds expectations might bring hope to parents who are currently facing this predicament. Even if this type of disease is extremely rare, it doesn’t mean it should be ignored, if a way of circumventing it presents itself in the near future.