04/11/2014 06:45 GMT | Updated 04/11/2014 06:59 GMT

Man's Crippling Spider Fears Cured Following Brain Surgery

Sabine Immken via Getty Images

If the mere thought of spiders sends shivers down your spine then removing a section of your brain could help. (Although we probably wouldn't recommend it...)

A man who underwent brain surgery to prevent epileptic seizures has found he's been cured of his crippling fear of spiders.

The 44-year-old suffered recurring seizures and, as a result, opted to undergo brain surgery on his amygdala - a portion of the brain partially responsible for dealing with fear.

After the surgery, the man awoke to find that he no longer suffered from seizures. He was also no longer petrified of spiders and instead became fascinated with them.


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Researchers say that the man's fear may have been stored in neural pathways in the part of the amygdala that was removed to halt the man's seizures.

Dr. Nick Medford, observing physician at Brighton and Sussex Medical School said: "It's not uncommon for people to have temporal lobe surgery for severe epilepsy," he said.

"Arachnophobia is supposed to be reasonably common. So we might be able to test people for that phobia, or any other kind, before and after surgery."

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