agyria

This is a picture of a human brain that is entirely smooth – free of the ridges and folds so characteristic of our species’ most complex organ. The patient had a rare condition called agyria; a lack of gyri and sulci, the ridges and folds formed by the normally wrinkled cerebral cortex. This disorder often leads to death before the age of ten, and can cause muscle spasms, seizures and a range of learning difficulties due to the considerably reduced surface area of the brain.

This may be the strangest human brain known to science

Remarkably, this is a photograph of what was once an actual adult human brain — but without the characteristic ridges and folds. But because the patient’s medical records were lost, we may never know what life was like for this person.

Here’s what we do know. The person to whom this extraordinary brain belonged to was a resident of what is now North Texas State Hospital, a mental health facility. He or she died there in 1970. As New Scientist reports, the jar containing the brain is labelled with a reference number, but the microfilm containing the patient’s medical records have been lost.

Scientists have seen this sort of thing before — but not to such an extreme degree. It’s a condition known as agyria, or sometimeslissencephaly, in which the brain lacks the gyri and sulci, the normal ridges and folds that make up the cerebral cortex.

Typically, this condition leads to death by the age of 10 and can cause muscle spasms, seizures, and learning difficulties (on account of reduced surface area). But what makes this sample even more bizarre is that it came from an adult, leading scientists to speculate that the patient likely suffered from severe psychological defects.

More at New Scientist.

Is this the most extraordinary human brain ever seen?

ONCE you know what it is, this apparently innocuous picture of a blob assumes a terrible gravity. It is an adult human brain that is entirely smooth – free of the ridges and folds so characteristic of our species’ most complex organ. We can only imagine what life was like for this person. He or she was a resident of what is now North Texas State Hospital, a mental health facility, and died there in 1970, but that’s all we know. While the jar containing the brain is labelled with a reference number, the microfilm containing the patient’s medical records has been lost. Photographer Adam Voorhes spent a year trying to track down more information about this and nearly 100 other human brains held in a collection at the University of Texas, Austin, to no avail. The label on the jar states that the patient had agyria – a lack of gyri and sulci, the ridges and folds formed by the normally wrinkled cerebral cortex. This rare condition, also known as lissencephaly, often leads to death before the age of 10. It can cause muscle spasms, seizures and, as it vastly reduces the surface area of this key part of the brain, a range of learning difficulties. (via Is this the most extraordinary human brain ever seen? - life - 17 September 2013 - New Scientist)

Blue skin is actually possible. 

His name was Paul Karason, who had a severe form of Argyria. Which basically means too much Silver in the body, which gave him a blue/grey skin color. He was healthy, the Agyria is pretty harmless it just turned his white skin blue.

So Widow Maker’s skin though she got it differently, isn’t far-fetched.