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.

5 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

  5. Frontal Lobe TBI 12/1992 when I was 25. Beta Club in HS. Short Term Memory. Do not always know what day of the week it is or where I parked my car. The math and numbers memory is NOT my special gift – it is knowing what someone is about to say or do or knowing that the phone is going to ring – RIGHT NOW – and it does, among many other intuitions. I read an article about Psychotic Savants who can talk to anyone about anything and are extremely convincing. However, I do not lie or intentionally lie – but I am a great teacher and classroom instructor – I did it for over 20 years until recent seizures have placed me on permanent disability. Now then, I once had a girl pull in the driveway when I was living with my mother (after my head injury – which was due to going thru the windshield in a MVA. I also fractured my spine – T2 & T3). So, the woman who pulled in my driveway was someone I had not seen in over 7 years and was also someone who I had never dated or was ever even attracted to. When she pulled in, my mother asked “I wonder what she is doing here?” I immediately told her that she was here to tell me that she loved me and she always has. When the woman knocked on the door, she would not come in and asked my mother if I would come out instead. Then she told me exactly what I had felt and “visioned” her saying beforehand. I once told a friend to be careful driving to work because I had a bad feeling. They totaled their car THAT trip. Now they shiver when I have bad feelings or intuitions about them. I do NOT conjure up or wish for these thoughts or ideas. They are totally random and unannounced. I often know what commercial is coming on next or what song is coming on. I am trying to train my brain and try to have realization or recognition of when these thoughts are definite and true. Yes, I have false inhibitions as well, but my true ones incredibly outnumber my false ones. But I CONSTANTLY walk to the phone JUST BEFORE it rings …… Also, I still feel 25 – – even tho I am now 51….. I cannot envision or feel like I am “aging”. I also act like I am still 25. I can convince almost anyone to do almost anything ….

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