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Woman with ‘a phantom third arm’

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posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 02:40 PM
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A stroke victim has developed a phantom third arm which she uses 'just like a real-life limb'.
Tests have proven that, not only does the woman's brain 'move' the arm as if it was real, but also the rest of her body responds when it is 'touched' by the phantom hand.

She 'sees' the new arm and can even scratch an itch with it, doctors said.

It is the first ever recorded case of a patient being able to see, feel and move a phantom limb, the research team told the Annals of Neurology.

And they think their study could provide the missing link between this phenomenon and out-of-body experiences.

The 64-year-old woman lost the use of her left arm but her brain recognizes an illusionary limb that has taken its place.

Scientists at Switzerland's Geneva University Hospital used magnetic resonance imaging to confirm that her brain was issuing commands to the phantom limb and acknowledging its actions.

Phantom limbs often occur when a patient loses an arm or leg but can still 'feel' the missing limb.


Link


This was just such a *feel good* (on many levels) story I had to post it.

For whatever reason this info not only raises the hair on the back of my neck, but my spirits.

It just goes to show how marvelous our brains really are.

I wish we could get it through our thick heads we can do so much more than we're taught and told we can!

Enjoy!

peace

EDIT: I encourage everyone to keep reading down to the post by UmbraSumus - Incredible and fascinating follow up information Umbra, thanks again.


[edit on 8-4-2009 by silo13]




posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by silo13
 






This was just such a *feel good* (on many levels) story I had to post it.



Wait...


Maybe not - just wait until she trips and tries to stop her fall with her 'phantom' arm...





That should change things...



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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If true, i would not be surprised. They say amputees have the problem, and still thinking the arm or leg is still there.

Why in the first place would your brain even consider it?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 02:48 PM
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I would love to see some spectrograph (I think that is the right term) photos of her. The image of the bodies electromagnetic field around it. I suspect (if my personal theories are correct) that it will show up.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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Well the title makes it sound like she has two arms and has a phantom third... but really the phantom arm is one she already lost? So she has one good arm and one phantom arm?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by TLomon
 


I've seen old photos (I think they were called Kerlain Photography?) where a portion of a leaf was ripped away and in the photo you could see a 'field' of energy where the missing portion was...

I wonder if they still do that? I would be an interesting experiment.

Also, does the phantom arm sense things? Like heat, cold, pain, etc?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 03:39 PM
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sorry for double post


[edit on 8-4-2009 by Locke23]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 03:39 PM
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that was shocking!!
Ha, I liked the reply by chapter29.
no really,what will happen then?


thanks for the post



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 04:08 PM
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reply to post by chapter29
 



Maybe not - just wait until she trips and tries to stop her fall with her 'phantom' arm...


Oh bummer, lol...

"I've fallen and I can't get up" takes on a whole new meaning...

peace



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by silo13
 


Its a fascinating thought that the entire left side of the body skin surface is mapped onto a vertical strip of cortex , the somatosensory cortex , on the right side of the brain and vice versa .

When the somatosensory region associated with a limb, no longer receives sensory input (severed limb ) ...... often the adjacent area which "represents" the face , moves into the vacated space .

The man featured in this Documentary by Neuroscientist Ramachandran, could feel his phantom thumb , when he ran a razor over a particular part of his face.



Until now ~ scientist did not believe that the brain retained such plasticity into maturity.





The whole documentary is worth a watch.
Covering Phantom limbs /Anosognosia / Temporal lobe seizures and religious experience /Capgras syndrome /Blind sight .
Phantoms In The Brain ( Episode 1 )


[edit on 8-4-2009 by UmbraSumus]

[edit on 8-4-2009 by UmbraSumus]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by UmbraSumus
 


Thank you Umbra for putting this thread right over the top!
If I could share the stars with you I would!
What a fabulous addition and the fascination level has just peaked!
Thank you!



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 04:43 PM
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If amputees feel their missing limbs, this would basically be the same thing. Although the arm is still attached to her body it no longer works and seems missing to her. So she has developed a phantom limb.

Interesting how the mind works and compensates. Thanks for the post.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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I'm not sure if the patient has an astral arm or if the mind has compensated to an extraordinary extent but it is fascinating.

To answer chapter29 - only if she fell on Astroturf!



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 05:28 AM
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Originally posted by TLomon
I would love to see some spectrograph (I think that is the right term) photos of her. The image of the bodies electromagnetic field around it. I suspect (if my personal theories are correct) that it will show up.



Umm.. Why?

Please explain your personal theories as to why her "phantom limb" should appear on a spectrograph. That's an illogical assumption if you ask me. I'm interested in hearing more.


-----------------------


Aside from that, this is fascinating thread. I never would have assumed our brain could "replace" missing senses. It's actually mind boggling when you think about it. It never ceases to amaze me how little we know about ourselves!



Cheers.

- Strype

[edit on 9-4-2009 by Strype]



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 05:52 AM
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I am an amputee. Left thumb, distal phalanx. I can definately confirm that there is still something there after 28 years.

I cannot see it, or control it, but I can certainly feel it's ghost presence.

Sometimes it can send some pretty scary sensations. One simply gets used to being poked with the occasional needle... hehehe...



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 07:15 AM
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I lost my right leg AKA(above knee amputation)in Sept of 2000. Actually on Sept 11,2000, 1 year to the day, before 9/11.

I was knocked off the platform at Jamacia trainstation in NY. Yep you gotta be careful, there are some sick individuals out there. I don't recall any of it, only what witnesses saw.

Anyways I went through aweful phantom limb pain.

The doctors said it would go it would slowly go away.

Till this day I can still feel like my leg is there right down to the very tip of my big toe.

Still some mornings if I'm groggy, I will roll out of bed and try to stand on it, but nope, its not there. It burns mostly (probably because I lost it due to touching the 3rd rail) being electricuted.

But it also itches, and that is a mother#@^@!$. Because there's nothing there to scratch.

But this story, I've never heard of someone actually seeiung thier phantom limb, and being able to scratch an itch "with " it?? Very odd, interesting story.

I think phantom pain is more severe for those who lose thier limbs in a traumatic way, such as myself, or like haveing your leg crushed.

Instead of someone who has diabetes or something, and they just go and amputate thier leg below the knee or some such. I believe for those people the phantom limb pain is not as intense if there at all.

But the pain after my amputation was so intense many nights the thought off snuffing it entered my mind.But I'd never do that. But thats how intense this burning pain was. But After years of heavy pain meds I'm ok, I'm actually in the process of comeing off the meds, because they are sucking the life out of me, but it will be hard. I have my mind set though.

It's amazing how fast your life can change, and how you take things like haveing all your limbs and health for granted. Also haveing my leg amputated above the knee sucks, it it were below...., I'd be in alot better shape. I cant afford a new robotic, computerized "C leg" but I have a decent prostesis, and can walk fairly well. Just not for very long distances.

Be grateful for what you have, things could always be worse.

Theres plenty of information out there on why phantom pain exists. It actually has to do with the nerves of course. Also it has to do with your brain being used to haveing the limb on there for your entire life.

In my case, they actually cut the nerves very low, and they are all bunch up in my residual limb. I think the doctors do this for a couple reasons. One being, haveing the sensation your leg is still there, while annoying, may perhaps help one when walking with a prostesis. Although that's just a theory of mine.

Perhaps, they wanted to leave some extra length on those nerve ending incase future medicine ever catches up, and something can be connected to the, like an android type leg *shrugs* thats a cool thought. Or maybe theyll find a way for people to regenerate thier limbs, now that'd be amazing.

If only I were a starfish...heh.

[edit on 9-4-2009 by Nola213]



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 07:48 AM
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reply to post by Nola213
 



In my case, they actually cut the nerves very low, and they are all bunch up in my residual limb. I think the doctors do this for a couple reasons. One being, having the sensation your leg is still there, while annoying, may perhaps help one when walking with a prosthesis. Although that's just a theory of mine.


Incredible stuff that - your post - thank you.
Thank God you came away from the situation with your life.

Anyway, the quote above really caught my attention.

I wonder if the reason for leaving the nerves just so are for the possibilities you mentioned?

You said there are a allot of sites on line for this information.
I'll have to take a look and see what I can find.

Thanks again -

peace



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by Strype
Please explain your personal theories as to why her "phantom limb" should appear on a spectrograph. That's an illogical assumption if you ask me. I'm interested in hearing more.


Maxmars touched upon where I was heading. Kirlian Photography was the name I was looking for. There is a definite logic behind what I was stating, I just was just using the wrong terminology.

Basically, in an experiment, they took a picture of the electromagnetic field around the leaf of a plant. They then cut a leaf off. They took another picture, and the leaf still showed up, even though it was not physically there.

To the best of my knowledge, this has not been done to a human subject, and my theory is that it will give similiar results.



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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I forgot to add that the nerves to my amputated distal phalanx were removed all the way back into the palm of my hand.

There are no nerves there, but I can assure you my thumb's ghost is there. Always there with a slight electrical charge. It is about as intense as a 9 volt battery on your tongue.

However, such a stimulation is much mor tolerable in the hand than on the tongue.



posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 08:23 AM
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People who swear 10000000% they see stuff and feel stuff that is not there are mental.
THe lady needs mental help i think

dillusions



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