Trauma And Its Effects On The Brain Essay

789 Words Nov 30th, 2015 4 Pages
Undergoing an amputation generates sufficient trauma in and of itself, adding to the shock is the experience of excruciating pain caused by a limb or other body part that is no longer attached to the body, this disturbance can prove to be not only exasperating but extraordinarily frightening as well. This strange phenomenon, of experiencing a limb that has been removed from the body, is referred to as a “phantom limb.” Around “90 percent of amputees worldwide” have experienced these puzzling sensations. Interestingly, at times, the limb is sensed as having mobility and at others is sensed to be paralyzed. Amputees have conveyed they are subjected to a “tingling sensation,” that pervades the entirety of the limb that is missing, giving a sense of the exact dimensions of the absent limb. Many times sensations experienced in these missing appendages are painful and can last for years.
Although researchers have not definitively discovered the cause of these alarming sensations they have deduced that they may be linked to, “activity in networks of neurons located throughout the brain.” This complex system of neurons enables the brain to map the body and attach corresponding sensations to each part. Historically, “phantom limbs” have been reported as early as the fourth century, with continued accounts being described repeatedly throughout ensuing years. War produces a high number of amputees which have been documented and studied. Notably, “70 percent of amputee…

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