Victim Experiences Synesthesia Nine Months After a Stroke

by Savitha C Muppala on  August 2, 2013 at 9:58 PM General Health News
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A man from Toronto began to experience something strange nine months after he suffered a stroke.

Doctors found that he was suffering from synesthesia, an extremely rare brain condition where a mix up of senses occurs.
 Victim Experiences Synesthesia Nine Months After a Stroke
Victim Experiences Synesthesia Nine Months After a Stroke

For instance, when he ate a certain kind of food, he felt he could eat its color. Viewing an object also made him sense its smell.

Synesthesia is a condition where victims go through simultaneous sense experiences. He is also believed to be the second man in the world to be a victim of synesthesia following brain damage. The unique aspect is that he happens to be the first reported case of acquired synesthesia manifesting itself in multiple senses. He is capable of putting an end to such extreme sensations at will.

The first experience of synesthesia hit him while he watched a performance of the Peking Opera at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics.

"I didn't just hear the music, but I could feel it going through me. Then I could see the music and then I felt that -- and this is so weird -- I felt that I was being pulled into the TV set, travelling through the air magically and winding up in Beijing. It was absolutely wonderful ... I was floating above the crowd and I could feel the heat and humidity off the crowd, and the smells. It was like being at the Olympics. I went from an air-conditioned condo to being up on the 50th row of the Olympic stadium."

Strange experiences followed, for instance when he walked into a departmental store and looked at an advertisement for chicken, the powder blue letters triggered an extremely rare response.

"All I could do was stare at the light blue colour and it was making me angry. And I felt disgusted. And then I started to think the chicken might be dirty," he said.

Doctors explain that our brains are capable of trying to fix itself after suffering a head trauma. It works by creating new connections, a phenomenon called as neuroplasticity.

In this particular victim's case, the damage was in the Thalamus, and the difficult job of rewiring went off the mark. The neurologist offered an explanation by saying, "Areas that would never be in direct communication with one another are speaking to one another and are getting fired or getting online from different types of stimuli."

Functional MRI of his brain showed that during such strange experiences, his whole brain becomes active and in comparison to normal people, where listening to music would just activate the auditory cortex.

As of now, this man from Toronto, who does not wish to reveal his name, calls it a stroke of good luck, which has left him with magical experiences.

Source: Medindia

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