Brain Transplant

Say, theoretically, that it someone was brain damaged. Would it be possible to put someone else’s brain in their head instead? If so, would the person receiving the brain have the memories of the donor? Would the IQ of the recipient be the IQ of the donor?

Brain transplant are completely impossible with today’s technology. Someday? Maybe but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

If a brain transplant were possible and you are just talking about taking a brain out of one person and putting it into another then teh brain that was ‘thrown away’ would be dead and the transplanted brain would be the ‘other’ person in a new body. I.E. If they put your brain into, say, Sarah Jessica Parker’s body then it’d be YOU (monica) now wearing Sarah Jessica Parker’s body.

Well, where is your mind?

A brain-damaged person can lose memories or have their personality change. I’d say the mind-- the person, if you will-- is the brain. A brain transplant would be useless-- once a brain is severely damaged, that person is gone forever.

On the other hand, you could have a body transplant… if your body is badly damaged but your brain is intact, your brain could be put into a healthy body whose brain has died. It would be you, because it’s your brain. You’d just look different.

Heh… does anyone remember a TV movie from the eighties called ‘Who is Julia?’ It was about just that… a woman whose brain is transplanted into a different body. She and her husband have to get used to her looking completely different but actually being the same person.

Eck, or the movie ‘The Man with Two Brains’ Worst Movie Ever.

Well, it might be possible if they can:

  • Remove the brain without damaging it
  • Surgerically reattach the nerves
  • Regrow the neural connections to your senses
  • Reattach the spical cord
  • Make you body last long enough on lifesuppot until your brain
    stem kicks in
  • Stop you going crazy due to the change in identity
  • Help you relearn your muscle control (OK, the plasticity of the
    human brain is a lot better then we give it credit for)
  • Get it cleared through the ethical, religious, moral boards.
    Mind you I remember someone mentioning a vivisection study done where they reattached a decapitated monkey head. Apparrently it was still alive; except for the cut spinal cord. Can’t remember the original source, but it was shown at a anti-vivisection meeting.

I think it would be hard to attach the optical nerves so you could see too.

But it would be great to get a nice young 20 year old body every few years.

It looks like at least one person is thinking about such a thing. Read this article about a scientist who transplanted one monkey’s head onto another’s body.

Heinlein covered it in “I Shall Fear No Evil” - old codger getting brain transplant into young woman’s body.