JULIANS PERSONAL STORY
The beginnings of the wish to revolutionize rehabilitation stem from a personal experience.
Julian Specht, cofounder of living brain, suffered from a temporal lobe epilepsy since the age of 10. Multiple times a day he had seizures - far from a normal life. Swimming, riding a bicycle, going to the supermarket - all that was accompanied by high risks for him. When he was 18, his doctors told him that medication will no longer help him. At this time he nearly died of a seizure multiple times. His only chance for a life free of seizures is brain surgery.
The physicians have identified the origin of his seizures and suggest the surgery. It could heal him from the seizures. Julian thinks about it. A lot. For nights he researches scientific papers, case reports and statistics. On the one hand he sees the prospect of a life free of complaints. On the other hand the risks resulting from surgery: Death, severe impairment, massive cognitive decline. He asks his doctors what he could do, if his cognitive abilities worsen, the probability of decline is high.
The origin of his seizures is located in an area responsible for memory. The doctors tell him about computer-based training. Mention paper-pencil exercises. Mazes and lines of numbers. They wouldn’t be fully convinced of their functionality, but that’s the best treatment they can give to him. Julian is afraid. Afraid, that he will be able to do even fewer things after surgery than before. Afraid, there’s nothing that might really help him master daily life. He is in the middle of his studies. And he has his whole life ahead of him. Finally he decides to undergo brain surgery.
On October 1st 2015 the surgeon opens his skull and resects 6 centimeters of his brain. When Julian wakes up he thinks his head bursts of pain and his face is green and blue, but that’s it. No other difficulties.
The surgery went well. He has no further discomfort. No problems. No impairment. Only two weeks later he’s back at university. Seizure free. Despite the successful surgery he did not forget his fear. The fear of cognitive decline and a training his physicians did not believe in. He knows he’s not the only one facing this. Even though he was lucky, many others are not.
When Julian meets his fellow student Barbara at university, the two think back and forth. Why is the current training not applicable in daily life? How would training for rebuilding capacities required in daily life look like? How could a functional cognitive rehabilitation be designed?
Right after graduation they decided to find a solution and found living brain.
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