The Corpus Callosum

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Images are generated by Life Science Databases(LSDB). – from Anatomography

I’ve noticed that all of the issues I struggle with have something in common: a weak corpus callosum.

 

What is the Corpus Callosum?

It’s the largest connective pathway in the brain. It’s a bundle of nerves located in the middle of the brain that is responsible for communication between the right and left hemispheres.

Why is it important?

Hundreds of daily tasks require the use of this such as: attention, transferring information from one place to another, memorization, multi-tasking, hand-eye coordination, and driving.[1]  As you can see, communication between the two sides is vital to daily living.

As I began to research more about this part of the brain, I was interested to find that all of the following problems are related to a weak corpus callosum[2]:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Dyslexia & other learning disabilities
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Clumsiness, lack of coordination
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Psychological disorders

I realize that all of these disorders are extremely complex and I don’t want to oversimplify them, but I have come to believe that the corpus callosum is a vital piece in the mystery of mental illness. A weak crossover may make one person struggle to read or spell, and another struggle to drive, or judge distances. Because all these symptoms seem unrelated, and vary so much in severity, doctors have come up with different names for each set of symptoms.

Dyslexics struggle to read and spell.

Dyspraxics are uncoordinated and judge distances poorly.

ADHD/ADD means you have attention issues.

The distinction between each disorder is blurred and complicated.  60-70% of people on the autism spectrum also have a learning disability[3], and 25-40% of people with learning disabilities show signs of mental illness[4]. While it remains a mystery what exactly connects these disorders, it seems as if a weak corpus callosum is a factor in all of them.

How can the Corpus Callosum be strengthened?

Gradually, as I strengthen this piece of my brain, I can feel the fog lift. I am better able to express myself through writing and I started playing guitar.  Only a few years ago, I struggled to get my thoughts into a logical piece and I said I’d never play an instrument, but now I am able to do these things.  While I still struggle, I’m getting there.  It’s a process.

These are just my own observations as I try to understand myself.  But whatever you choose to call it, it is a scientific fact that a weak crossover will make you struggle in many different ways. But, I have found hope in the fact that nerves are trainable. Daily brain exercise (crossover activities) and nutrition can significantly strengthen connections in the corpus callosum.  Though I’ll never be ‘normal’ or have a brain that functions as easily as some people, as I strengthen this connection, I’m starting to see glimpses of my brain working more efficiently.

[1] Van den Honert, D. (n.d.). , Is The Corpus Callosum the Missing Link in Dyslexia? Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://www.dyslexia.org/corpus.shtml

[2] Ibid.

[3] Learning Disability Statistics: Autism. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2016, from http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/help-information/Learning-Disability-Statistics-/187690/

[4] Learning Disability Statistics: Mental Health Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2016, from http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/help-information/Learning-Disability-Statistics-/187699/

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