Neuroscience Case Study

The Case of…Tim Levesque, the Fallen Athlete
Since he was a boy, Tim Levesque has always loved sports. From football and basketball in high school through rugby in college, Tim enjoyed the hours of training, the satisfaction of mastering

complex plays, and especially the thrill of facing challenging competitors. He remained physically active in the years that followed and spent many evenings and weekends coaching his son

Adam’s Little League baseball team. He continued to challenge himself to learn new skills, as when he took up bowling and practiced regularly until he was good enough to join a league.
Six months ago, Tim suffered a stroke while he was taking his morning jog. Immediately afterward, much of the right side of Tim’s body was paralyzed and he was having great difficulty trying to

talk. When Adam saw him in the hospital, he barely recognized his strong, active father now lying weak and incapacitated in a hospital bed. Although his physicians could not give him a clear

prognosis, Tim was determined to regain his strength and mobility and fully resume his active lifestyle
Today Tim has not quite reached his goal, but he has made a remarkable recovery. He is out of the hospital and receiving regular physical therapy. His speech has returned with only occasional

difficulty, and he is able to walk and move well enough to return to work. He can’t quite manage to roll a 12-pound bowling ball with the ease and accuracy as he previously could, but that

doesn’t bother him much. What really excites Tim is the ever increasing likelihood that he’ll be back to coach Adam’s team next season.
1. Is there any evidence to suggest which hemisphere of Tim’s brain suffered damage during his stroke?
2. What imaging technology would best reveal the location and extent of damage to Tim’s brain produced by his stroke, and why?
3. If physicians did not have any means of viewing the damage to Tim’s brain directly, what other clues might they have to the location of the damage? Where might the damage be if Tim had

lost his vision after the stroke? Where might it be if he lost sensation on the left side of his body? Where might it be if his personality suddenly changed?
4. Explain how the endocrine system played a role in keeping Tim’s body performing optimally whether he was exercising strenuously or relaxing. How might Tim have been able to manipulate his

endocrine system function to enhance his athletic performance, if he so chose? What might be some risks of doing so?
5. Describe the brain phenomena that are chiefly responsible for Tim’s recovery of lost speech and motor functions. How likely do you think Tim is to completely return to his pre-stroke level of

functioning, and why?

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