Saturday, 30 January 2016

Wada Test Normally Administered by Neuropsychologists like Teresa Susmaras

Teresa Susmaras and other neuropsychologists have noted side effects of the Wada test, administered prior to brain surgery.   Possible dramatic personality changes are possible, although a lack of inhibition is generally more common.  Shivering is a frequent effect.  During an injection into the left hemisphere, typically, the patient may experience impaired speech function including loss of understanding, although the ability to sing may still be present.  The recovery of speech after the medication dissipates may include errors in comprehension or expression.  The greatest risk may be in the insertion of the catheter into the internal carotid artery.  Scientists are currently searching for non-invasive alternatives, such as using fMRI, TMS, magnetoencephalography and a near-infrared spectroscopy.

The Wada test originated with a Canadian neurologist and epilepsy researcher, Juhn Atsushi Wada, from University of British Columbia.  While a medical resident in Japan during World War II, Wada researched a technique which decreased the cognitive side effects of electroconvulsive therapy.
Teresa Susmaras has studied dualism, or the dual brain theory.   First posited by Rene Descartes in the early 1600’s, dual brain theory holds that each hemisphere of the brain may perceive and react to the environment independently.  Further, one hemisphere may theoretically dominate the other as the result of emotional trauma, effectively protecting the traumatized hemisphere.  Dual brain theory rises from studies of epileptic patients who have undergone corpus callosum separation in an attempt to reduce seizures and their severity.  Studies with intact corpora callosa in healthy subjects have also indicated differing abilities and emotional reactions of the brain hemispheres.