Friday, May 13, 2022

Can You Get A Brain Transplant

Don't Miss

Can I Get An Eye Transplant For My Blind Child

Why Can’t We Transplant Brains?

There is no such thing as a whole-eye transplant. The optic nerve, which goes directly to the brain, cannot be transplanted and this nerve is damaged for many people who are blind. The eye transplant would not work without also transplanting the optic nerve.

In some cases the eye is not even the problem. The problem is actually inside the brain, where images are interpreted. Most people cannot comprehend this kind of explanation. In my family we settled for a simple explanation: doctors dont transplant the whole eye. They only transplant the cornea, which is the clear part that you see through, if it is damaged. My cornea wasnt damaged when I was a child. Other parts of my eye were. Ironically, I later developed damage to my cornea and have since had two cornea transplants as well as an artificial cornea implant.

Donor eyes are taken from people following death. The eyes are then taken to eye banks and cornea tissue is matched according to various factors to ensure the least possibility of rejection. It is not possible to donate an eye to a particular individual. Unlike bone marrow or some other organs, corneas are not only matched according to blood type or familial background. I have no idea who my cornea donors were. I ended up rejecting both, probably due to my own autoimmune disease.

A Kidney Transplant May Be A Real Option For You If You Have Kidney Failure

If your kidneys are failing, your doctor should discuss the option of kidney transplant with you before you start on dialysis, according to Penn Medicine. But one past study found that one-third of dialysis patients surveyed said they didnt know about the transplant option. As far as the patients recalled, that important kidney transplant discussion never happened. Because the study showed that people informed about a transplant option are nearly three times as likely to have one, be sure to ask about all your options, including transplant.

Even so, getting a preemptive transplant before dialysis isnt easy to do, says Klassen, unless you have a living donor who wants to donate their kidney to you: Usually, because of the need to wait for a donation, most people have to be on dialysis for a period of time before the transplant happens.

A Transplanted Organ Can Carry A Hidden Disease Along With It

Before transplant, organs are screened for common infections and diseases. This is to exclude any potentially dangerous contamination. And while transmitted infections are very rare, they are suspected in about 1 percent of transplant cases, though actually discovered in far fewer, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Donors are screened rigorously and infections can be treated well, says Dr. Klassen. Theres a risk-reward tradeoff, and its a relatively small risk, he adds.

West Nile virus and rabies are two examples of infectious diseases that have been transmitted via organ transplantation, the CDC data shows, and Klassen adds that rare cases of cancer from transplants have also been reported. And, as NBC News reported, an organ transplant patient contracted COVID-19 from the lungs of the donor, who had tested negative for the virus initially and didnt show any symptoms of the illness.

Doctors may have full knowledge of an infection in the organ before its set to be transplanted. Take hepatitis C. Fortunately, hepatitis C has become a curable disease within the last five years, so we can still utilize the organ of a person with hepatitis C, and then treat the recipient with hepatitis C medications.

RELATED: The Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Read Also: How To Unsubscribe From Brainly

We Are Not Just Concocting This In Some Secret Frankenstein Lab

It goes without saying that up until the point when the worlds first head transplant is performed and even after the procedure will be a topic of much debate.

Will the procedure cure thousands of people from paralysis? Or will it go down in history as a failed attempt by someone whom others claim to be a crazy scientist? Only time will tell.

However, Dr. Canavero is confident that in just over 2 years from now, he and his Chinese colleagues will have completed the worlds first ever human head transplant:

It will be a success. There is a step-by-step, no-risk approach to all this. If step one doesnt pan out, we will work more on that step until it works, move on and so on.

There is a detailed plan we are not just concocting this in some secret Frankenstein lab. We are way ahead now into the project, everything is moving it is no longer science fiction.

Should We Grow New Brains

Brian Owens Image: Brain Transplant

As for growing brains, Wolpe has a hard time seeing how you could justify it medically. “Who do we grow a new brain for? Do we grow it for someone with Alzheimer’s? Do we grow it for someone with a severe brain tumor?” I didn’t need to ask him to speculate. “Say you had a severe brain tumor, and I took a stem cell from you and I grew a new brain for you and got rid of your old brain and put in your new brain, none of you would be there. Your memories, your ideas, your thoughts, your thinking of your wife as your wife and your kids as your kidsit’s all gone, unless we can also transfer all your memories, thoughts, and ideas to a new brain.

“So I’m not even sure what a brain transplant means in that context,” he continued. “It means wiping the slate clean and now having a pre-birth-level brain in a 60-year-old person or whatever? I’m not sure of the medical problem that that solves.”

Also Check: How Do Puzzles Help The Brain

Are Human Brain Transplants Even Possible

Michael Egnor

Earlier this week, I discussed the work of Dr. Robert White, a neurosurgeon in the mid-20th century who did extensive research on head transplants in animals. The operation sometimes worked, most notably in monkeys. But it has never been done in humans, mostly because head transplantation would mean cutting the spinal cord, which would cause complete and permanent paralysis.

The most reasonable perspective on the soul is that it is the active principle of the body that is, the soul is what the body does. Thus soul follows function. From this perspective, I infer that after a head transplant, I would see with my original eyes, hear with my original ears, etc. If I were able to move my transplanted body, whether it was my body or the donors body is a linguistic question, not a metaphysical question. We face the same essentially linguistic issue with transplants of other organs. If I get a kidney transplant, is the kidney mine or is it the donors kidney working in me? The answer is a matter of languagethe kidney is what I call it. The bottom line is that the kidney works there is no real metaphysical issue.

What would become of my soul and the souls of my neighbors if our brains were blended like this? I think there is an answer, and it has profound implications.

Our Creator surely knows the evil of which we are capable. Perhaps he builds in safety valves. He intends to protect us from the worst of our hubris.

The Financial Cost Of Donating An Organ May Be Higher Than You Think

Offering to donate a kidney or part of your liver as a living donor can help save a life, but the process may come with surprisingly high costs. Donating an organ could mean lost pay from time away from work, travel costs for surgery, and time off to recover and neither Medicare nor insurance covers these expenses, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Its estimated that living kidney donors in the United States bear out-of-pocket transplant-related costs of $5,000 on average, and up to $20,000, according to a past report.

But according to the National Kidney Foundation, a living donor wont have to pay for anything connected to the actual transplantation surgery. The National Living Donor Assistance Program and other similar programs may help cover some donation-related expenses. In addition, living donors may be eligible for sick leave and state disability under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, the National Kidney Foundation also notes, while federal employees, some state employees, and certain other workers may qualify for 30 days of paid leave.

Recommended Reading: Prevent Brain Freeze

Could We Transplant Existing Brains

What about a head transplantor, if you prefer, a whole-body transplant? Doable? White thinks it is, even as he acknowledges that the financial costs would be prohibitive.

“Could you keep an isolated human head alive? That’s creepy. Very creepy.”

“I’ve had plenty of time to think about it, and the operation itself, although complex, really involves structures in and about the neck,” White told me. “You’re not cutting into the brain, and you’re not cutting into the body, just severing everything at the neck. It’s a very complex operation, because you have to make sure that the body’s kept alive and the head’s kept alive. But this has all been worked out in smaller animals.”

Forty years ago, in studies that to some commentators smacked of Dr. Frankenstein, White and his team experimented with transplanting the newly detached head of a live rhesus monkey onto the body of another monkey that had just had its head removed. The longest-lived such hybrid, which reportedly showed unmistakable signs of consciousness, lasted eight days.

“With the significant improvements in surgical techniques and postoperative management since then,” White wrote in a 1999 Scientific American article, “it is now possible to consider adapting the head-transplant technique to humans.” White acknowledges that a quadriplegic who got a new body today would remain paralyzed below the neck, because successfully reconnecting the brain to the spinal column remains beyond our reach.

Your Weight May Affect Whether You Can Receive A Transplant

Surgeon Simulator [PS4] – Brain Transplant (0:57) How Long Can You Live Without A Brain?

When you meet with your doctor or your transplant center, you may be advised to bring your body mass index down to 30 or less. Although BMI is flawed, and it is not an accurate measure of health for everyone, in this case the goal BMI would correspond to less than 203 pounds for a person who is 5 feet 9 inches tall, according to the National Institutes of Healths BMI calculator. The reasoning? A BMI of 30 or greater is a sign of obesity, which puts a person at greater risk for poor wound healing, infection, and kidney rejection, the National Kidney Foundation notes. For obese people, their surgical risk goes up and it can be technically harder to do a transplant on this group, adds Klassen.

Just know that the goal should be a healthy approach to weight loss and its important to meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist so that you arent missing out on key nutrients or doing anything extreme that puts your health in jeopardy, according to the National Kidney Foundation your doctor may discuss weight loss surgery with you, too.

You May Like: Stopping Brain Freeze

A Liver Transplant Wont Cure An Infection Like Hepatitis C

According to data from the Organ Procurement and Transportation Network , there are currently almost 11,900 people on the waiting list for a liver transplant in the United States. In 2020, only 8,906 Americans received a liver transplant, per the OPTN. One of the leading causes of liver failure in the United States is hepatitis C, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But if you get a liver transplant, the new, healthy liver can become infected with hepatitis C once inside your body. This is because the hepatitis C virus can continue to circulate in your blood throughout your body, including your liver.

That said, because hepatitis C is now curable, most people are treated before the transplant, says Klassen. According to the WHO, antiviral medications can cure more than 95 percent of people who have a hepatitis C infection. These new medications are costly if paying out of pocket, yet are covered by most health insurance plans, as a paper published in December 2019 in the American Journal of Managed Care notes.

RELATED: What to Know if You Need a Liver Transplant for Hepatitis C

No There Hasnt Been A Human ‘head Transplant’ And There May Never Be

Neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is in the news again, claiming to have performed the first successful human head transplant. But even cursory analysis reveals that he hasnt. And scientific logic suggests he never will

In February 2015, Sergio Canavero appeared in this very publication claiming a live human head will be successfully transplanted onto a donor human body within two years. Hes popped up in the media a lot since then, but two years and nine months later, how are things looking?

Well, hes only gone and done it! As we can see in this Telegraph story from today, the worlds first human head transplant has been successfully carried out. Guess all those more timid neurobods who said it couldnt be done are feeling pretty foolish right now, eh?

Well, not quite. Because if you look past the triumphant and shocking headlines, the truth of the matter becomes very clear, very quickly. In the interest of full disclosure, I do not know Dr Sergio Canavero, hes done nothing to me directly that Im aware of. However, Im now seriously doubting his motivations. Ive discussed my reasons for this elsewhere before now, but here they are again in one place for ease of reading.

Also Check: Vyvanse Memory Loss

Brains Eyes Testes: Off

Since the world’s first successful organ transplant in 1954a kidneythe discipline has advanced to the point where a wounded soldier could have his penis and scrotum replaced in a groundbreaking operation last month.

A Frenchman recently became the first person to receive a second face transplant after the first failed, and another made history by regrowing skin lost over 95 percent of his body, thanks to a graft from his twin brother.

Transplants are no longer limited to the vital organs: heart, liver, orlungs. Nowadays, people can get a new hand… or even a uterus.

But some organs remain off-limits. For now.

Brain swap

Topping the list, brain transplants are a long way off, for both technical and ethical reasons, experts say.

“The most challenging organ to transplant is anything related to the nervous system, as we do not have effective techniques for nerve growth/regeneration,” explained transplant surgeon David Nasralla, of the University of Oxford.

“For this reason, eye and brain transplants are currently beyond the scope of modern medicine,” he told AFP.

Nerves carry messages through the body in the form of electrochemical pulses flitting between the brain and spinal cord, muscles and other organs.

An Italian-Chinese surgical duo recently set the science world aflutter by announcing they planned to remove a person’s head and attach it to a decapitated donor body in what would be the first such procedure.

Fancy a pig heart?

Animal welfare is an added concern.

A Neighborhood In My Skulll

Surgeon Simulator [PS4]

But one issue arises that cannot be resolved by clarification of language: What about transplantation of parts of my brain? What would be the metaphysical status of a person with hybrid brains a lobe of my brain connected to a lobe of my neighbors brain? What if tiny bits of the brains from all the people in my neighborhood were transplanted into my brain? Would I incorporate my neighbors? Would they incorporate me? Or both or neither? Would there be a neighborhood in my skull?

What would become of my soul and the souls of my neighbors if our brains were blended like this? I think there is an answer, and it has profound implications.

Don’t Miss: Can Diabetes Cause Memory Loss

Can An Organ Transplant Change A Recipient’s Personality Cell Memory Theory Affirms ‘yes’

Organ donors may be doing more than just saving lives. They may be giving a ‘new life’ to organ transplant recipients. According to Donate Life America’s 2011 statistics, there were 8,127 deceased organ donors and 6,017 living organ donors in the United States, adding up to 28,535 organ transplants overall. The most common organ transplants include the cornea, kidney, and heart with a heart transplant ranking the highest in five-year post-transplant survival rate of 74.9 percent. The heart ultimately stores memories through combinatorial coding by nerve cells, which allows the sensory system to recognize smells, according to cellular memory theory.

Heart Transplants and Cell Memory

At the School of Nursing at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, researchers sought to evaluate whether changes experienced by organ transplant recipients were parallel to the history of the donor. Researchers focused on 10 patients who received a heart transplant and found two to five parallels per patient post-surgery in relation to their donor’s history. The parallels that were observed in the study were changes in food, music, art, sexual, recreational, and career preferences in addition to name associations and sensory experiences. In the study, a patient received a heart transplant from a man who was killed by gunshot to the face, and the organ recipient then reported to have dreams of seeing hot flashes of light directly on his face.

Liver Transplant and Blood Type

Being A Living Organ Donor Could Cost You Your Life Insurance

An unexpected consequence of donating an organ as a living donor is a change in your eligibility for insurance coverage. Even though the Affordable Care Act ensures that you can’t be denied health insurance because you have a preexisting condition, the National Kidney Foundation notes that some living donors report having a hard time finding life insurance or having to pay higher premium prices.

In those cases, the transplant center may reach out to the insurance company to inform them that as a living donor, youre not at increased risk of death because of the donation. You may also be able to get life insurance through the Living Organ Donor Network, which allows donors to buy life and disability insurance in case they do have complications after donating an organ.

RELATED: 9 Questions You Should Be Able to Answer About Your Liver

Also Check: How Do Puzzles Help The Brain

More articles

Popular Articles