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By On October 3rd, 2013

Acquired Savant Syndrome and TBI

AstrocyteSavants are fascinating. How is it that they can have a unique and highly developed intellectual skill which is so far beyond what what we can do with our brains. This may be an ability to perform complex mathematical equations, a demonstration of unusual memory functions, a highly developed visual spatial skill or other level of performance in a specific area which exceeds “normal” capacity. The Acquired Savant Syndrome seems to occur in two groups: individuals with an Autism Spectrum diagnosis and people with a Central Nervous System (CNS) disorder or injury, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The left frontotemporal area appears to relate to the unique skill. Theories abound and range from enhanced local connectivity to access to lower level, unprocessed information.

Click here to read an interesting story about Acquired Savant Syndrome.

Also, click here to read about Derek Amato who became a musical genius after experiencing a brain injury.

4 Responses

  1. Pedro Meza says:

    I am a veteran with mTBI 2008, lost about 10 years worth of memories and knowledge, and now have problems retaining new memories but have discovered that I know things that can not be explained as well as see pictures in my head of math concepts if I look at their formulas. Plus other things.

  2. I believe that abilities uncovered through acquired savant syndrome are in all of us. But, because we can’t use all of our brain (imperfections), brain injuries, etc. have to uncover them. Yet, in some families they’re considered inborn gifts; a family trait.

  3. Maggie Ramos says:

    My son is a 100% disabled veteran with a diagnosis of TBI, Spinal Cord Injury, Progressive Ataxia and Bulbar Syndrome. His doctor told him: “Son, you will never be able to play any instrument with your hands.” His hands are all contracted, because of the Ataxia and the TBI, however without ever having any knowledge of music, I bought him a guitar and he plays everything by ears and has composed beautiful music like a virtuoso, he also sees geometrical and mathematical symbols in the music and helped my grandson solve engineering problems. Although he was always intelligent, music was never one of his talents. I showed the doctor a video of him playing, he was amazed, and he kept it to show his colleagues. Yesterday, my son got a call from a Nashville promoter, that the doctor showed the video to and wants to record him.

  4. Brian Aldiss says:

    I had a brain injury in early childhood, circa 1978. I experienced chronic migraine headaches, coordination loss and learning difficulties through adolescence. When I was 14, a neurosurgeon diagnosed my brain injury within 5 minutes (1982). I had the first of four brain surgeries, across ten years, in October of 1982. During that time, I graduated both high school and college, on time, learning five different musical instruments and two additional languages.

    I still am missing the first fourteen years of my life (retro grade amnesia); and I have severe short-term memory issues. I record in written form, daily activities (that I wish to recall–lol).

    I am married with two children and gainfully employed. Life is what it is…c’est la vie

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