Cavendish, VT

In 1848, a Man Survived Having a Metal Rod Go Through His Brain. He Was Never The Same Since

Ingram Atkinson
Phineas GagePhoto byReddit

Gage, a railroad construction foreman, became one of the most famous case studies in the history of neuroscience after surviving a severe brain injury in 1848. 

Gage's remarkable story has been widely studied by scientists and physicians for over a century and a half, and has shed light on the inner workings of the brain and the relationship between brain damage and personality.

Born in 1823, Phineas Gage was a hardworking and reliable young man who held a responsible position in a construction company. 

On September 13, 1848, while working on a railway line near Cavendish, Gage had a terrible accident that changed the course of his life. He was using a tamping iron, a long steel rod used to pack explosive powder into a hole, when the powder accidentally detonated, driving the rod through his skull and into his brain. 

Miraculously, Gage was conscious and able to speak immediately after the accident, and he was even able to walk to a nearby hotel for medical attention.

Gage's injury caused widespread damage to his frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for regulating social behavior, planning, and decision-making. 

Despite his severe injury, Gage was able to recover and return to work within a few months, but his personality underwent a remarkable transformation. 

According to reports, Gage went from being a responsible, even-tempered, and respected individual to a reckless, impulsive, and irresponsible person. 

He became unable to hold a job or maintain relationships, and he eventually became a wandering vagrant, traveling from town to town in search of work.

Gage's case attracted widespread attention in the medical and scientific communities, and he became a subject of intense study by doctors and researchers. 

In the years that followed his injury, physicians and scientists began to understand the relationship between brain damage and personality, and Gage's case became a cornerstone of modern neuroscience. 

In the 20th century, the study of the brain and its functions became a major area of scientific inquiry, and advances in imaging technology have allowed researchers to better understand the brain and the effects of injury and disease.

Today, Phineas Gage is remembered as one of the most important case studies in the history of neuroscience, and his story continues to inspire scientists and researchers in their quest to understand the human brain. 

Although his injury was a tragedy, Gage's remarkable case has helped to shed light on the inner workings of the brain and the relationship between brain damage and personality, and has paved the way for advances in neuroscience that have helped millions of people around the world.

Discover the untold tales of the world and feed your curiosity with every click - Join My Newsletter

What do you think?

Leave a comment down below. Don’t forget to leave a like and share this article with your friends and family.

Disclaimer: this article was written for educational and informational purposes only.

Comments / 19

Published by

I scour the internet for topics I find intriguing and do my best to share that with you. Business inquiries:

California State

More from Ingram Atkinson

Comments / 0