P is for Paralysis – NF1

4 May
Paralysis J

Paralysis NF1

And so as the alphabet progresses I find my images getting more sombre. I shall have to do something about that on the next few pictures!

This image concerns paralysis of the lower half of the body due to the growth of a neurofibroma from one of the nerve roots emerging from the spine into the chest. The tumour is benign, but as it grows it presses on the nerve root, and grows both into and out of the spinal canal through the gaps between the vertebrae in a dumb-bell shape. Eventually it presses on the spinal cord causing progressive paralysis. The condition is fortunately fairly rare, however we saw many cases of this condition in Central Africa and many of those people had skin polyps and tags. It was named after a Viennese Surgeon, von Recklinghausen, though the fashion for eponyms is fading, and they are increasingly replaced by boring but correct labels (in this instance NF1). Easier to classify, but reduces the richness of medical history.

I have shown the tumour more clearly on this image than usual, though one would need to know where to look. It arises from a series of rising lines and curls symbolising the progressive, inexorable loss of function of the lower body, first incontinence, then the butt muscles, the legs and feet, and abdominal muscles in progression.

The image is made from an orange glass bowl overlaid with an Indian design with some manipulation of the curves with very steep gamma in order to produce the sharp colours against a dark background.



3 Responses to “P is for Paralysis – NF1”

  1. leecleland May 5, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    Design wise this is very striking Tony and I love the way you achieved the look.

    • Xraypics May 5, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

      Thankyou Lee, I worried about this image all night but was relieved to see I still liked it in the morning.

      • leecleland May 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

        That’s always a good sign if you still like it the next day 🙂

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