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Over 135 Years of Combined Experience In Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Brain injury occasionally causes savant-like abilities

Brain trauma is one of the worst types of injuries the human body can endure. Its effects can last days, weeks, even years in many cases. Severe brain injuries can affect the victim’s memory, comprehension and ability to live independently.

In rare cases, however, a brain injury seems to unlock a hidden talent -- or pull one out of thin air. A condition called “acquired savant syndrome” occasionally causes someone with no experience in art, music or mathematics to display advanced ability in one of those fields after suffering a head injury.

For instance, a former defense attorney had to give up his practice after a camera boom fell on his head during a concert in 2011. He suffered memory loss and had trouble processing language.

At first, he turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with his problems. But then he tried art therapy. Though he had never given much thought to painting before, he discovered that art had somehow become very easy for him.

“A little trigger went off and I became hooked,” the man says. Painting is now a compulsion for him, and he constantly views the world in terms of how he would put it on canvas.

Pictures of a couple of the man’s paintings, provided by Medical Daily, are almost colorless. The abstract paintings seem to flow across the canvas, like lava or churning water. The artist describes his work as hopeful and light, and says painting pulled him through the darkest times of his life.

Acquired savant syndrome may sound like some sort of blessing in disguise. However, acquiring genius in this way often also carries severe health effects, such as developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities and communication problems.

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