Monday, 23 March 2015

Can You Read Brain Scans?

I sustained a head injury due to a complication at birth in 1982 at the Royal Oldham Hospital. I have dealt with short term memory difficulties my whole life. In 2009, aged 26, and after meeting with many psychologists, I finally got a proper, accurate and full assessment. In it, the report states:

Mr Tuckey has a visible scar on his right temporal area (the lower back of the head) resulting from the birth.

These difficulties are set against a backdrop of very strong crystallised verbal, perceptual, organisational and executive skills of inhibition, flexibility and abstract reasoning.

This indicates that that there may be more than a specific visual memory impairment which would be consistent with the potential damage sustained from the described peri-natal experience. This perhaps suggests some asymmetrical bilateral temporal damage, as well as disruption to the right frontal lobes or associated pathways.”

-Dr Gemma Wall, Specialist Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychology. Oldham NHS.

I went back to the Royal Oldham Hospital on 27th September 2010, aged 28, for a brain scan. After this, I received a letter informing me that no abnormality was found. I accepted this for many years.

In more recent years, I've become incredibly suspicious about this. I eventually put in a request to my hospital to retrieve my medical records. It took some time to get these records back, but they were sent to me by post. They include details of my birth and my first few weeks in the hospital (during which time I suffered numerous seizures). It must have been obvious to the doctors at that point that I was going to need some support in life, but no referral to social services or the like was made.

These medical records also included a CR-ROM with JPEGs of the scans from 2010. These are the scans.

I'm cautious about asking anyone in Oldham NHS about these scans as this would require them to criticise people who may be their past or present colleagues. Hence, I'm taking a risk and displaying them on my own website.

A question for scan-trained professionals: can you see anything unusual in these pictures?

Let me know at

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