Why Can’t We Transplant Brains?

Why Can’t We Transplant Brains?


Two days before Christmas Day in 1954, the
first organ transplant was achieved when a kidney was transplanted from a man called
Ronald Herrick into his identical twin, Richard, at a hospital in Boston. In 1963, the first human lung transplant was
performed at the University of Mississippi. The liver transplant came next in 1967, also
in the U.S., and that same year a heart was transplanted at a hospital in Cape Town, South
Africa. We can now transplant other organs, such as
the pancreas, intestine, and thymus, with the kidneys, liver and heart being the most
frequently transplanted organs. Tissues can also be transplanted, and right
now scientists are even working on ways to 3-D print human tissue. But there’s one things humans haven’t
cracked, and that’s the organ that makes us more us than any other. Today we’ll find out why, in this episode
of the Infographics Show, Why Can’t We Transplant Brains? Don’t forget to subscribe and click the
bell button so that you can be part of our Notification Squad. First of all, we should look at what the brain
actually does. This thing inside our skulls that weighs on
average about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) is larger in humans than any other vertebrae
when compared to body weight. That’s why we are so brainy. The busy brain is our command center for our
nervous system, which takes in data from our body and gives directions to our muscles. In fact, it does so much work, it requires
about 20 percent of our energy to run it. When we are brain dead, we no longer have
any neurological activity. With the help of machines, we can be kept
alive for a short time, but within a week the body will not be able to function. While we may still be alive in some sense
for that week, we are technically dead when the brain is dead. Some good news is that during the time we
are kept alive, some of our other organs can be donated. But why can’t we accept someone else’s
brain? When we transplant something such as a heart,
surgeons use a mechanical pump to keep blood flowing through the body while the new heart
is being put in. The new heart is connected to the major blood
vessels, and this might take several hours. You’ll stay in the hospital for one to two
weeks, and if your body doesn’t reject its new heart, it’s said 87 out of 100 people
make it through the year, and 60 out of 100 get through another decade. So, wouldn’t it just be possible to open
the skull and connect a new brain where the removed brain was connected? This question was asked to a Professor of
Neurosurgery at Yale in 2013. He actually did say that one day this operation
might be successful, but right now we are not even close. The reason is because it’s just too darn
difficult to connect nerve fibers from the new brain to the native spinal cord. This, he said, is why spinal cord injuries
can be so devastating. If we could transplant brains, we would likely
not have so many people that are disabled due to spinal injuries. Another Professor of Neurosurgery, speaking
in the same article, said that what might be more feasible is a whole body transplant,
which means a healthy brain being given a new body, which could be natural or artificial. We dug a little deeper, and found that indeed
some fairly amazing transplants have been done with brains or heads. In the 1950s, Russian scientist Vladimir Demikhov
created what has been called Frankenstein’s dog, when he transplanted the head of one
dog onto another, giving it two heads. Later, American scientist Robert White controversially
transplanted the head of monkeys, from one to another, but the monkey was paralyzed as
its spinal cord had been severed and it died in a few days. Basically, you can transplant a brain or a
head, but doing it successfully is going to be a problem. She believes that we won’t even go there
because it is just too gruesome and the public won’t like it. Everyone seems to come to the same conclusion,
in that if you sever the nerves in the central nervous system, the transplanted brain could
not be reconnected. All the neurosurgeons out there seem to agree,
that we just do not have anything near the technology to reattach the brain’s veins
and cranial nerves, the spinal cord, and the four major arteries. One particular scientist paints a very bleak
picture, wherein we successfully attached a brain to the arteries and veins. You’d be thinking, but according to him,
“You’d have a person in utter sensory isolation and paralysis—Locked-in syndrome only worse.” He believed a full head transplant would be
easier. By the way, you might have read that an Italian
neurosurgeon called Sergio Canavero performed a head transplant recently, but that transplant
wasn’t on living people, it was on corpses. We are not Lego; just sticking things together
doesn’t mean they work with us humans. For the most part, the great head transplant
story is now being received as fake news. So, with billions of neurons each with trillions
of synapses in the cerebral cortex, we can’t really just expect to hook a new brain up
to another body. But never say never; while brain transplants
might sound like science fiction, what might happen if we did successfully manage to rewire
a brain in another body? No one really knows, but there is a lot of
speculation out there. It seems some people agree you’d just be
you, in another body. By that, you’d be the brain in another body,
and the person whose brain was removed, while looking like the survivor, would in fact be
the person who had gone. The brain rules. Another thing people talk about is the fact
that brains grow with bodies, in tune, so if one brain was put in another body, things
might not just run like clockwork. It could produce a kind of trauma, even if
all the right bits were connected. And that could only happen if the huge doses
of immunosuppressants could ensure the immune system doesn’t attack the new brain, or
head. Even if you did do that, one scientist said
this year that by putting a new chemical environment with new neurological input would just lead
to a very mentally messed up Frankenstein. We’d have no continuity, and might end up
feeling like Mary Shelley’s creation who once asked, “Was I, then, a monster, a blot
upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?” In conclusion, we are not even close to brain
transplants, or head transplants. We are not sure how they could be done successfully,
and we are very afraid of trying. What do you think about the idea? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Worst Prison Experiments Conducted on Humans! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 thoughts to “Why Can’t We Transplant Brains?”

  1. i have already successfully transplanted brain. but the resulting human was bit dumb now he runs a YouTube channel named infographics.

  2. Gilligan;'s Island (1966), Bugs Bunny (1947) and Flintstones (1964) did it, but it hasn't happened yet in real life..

  3. But even if the body was transferred into an artificial body, will the brain not age to the point of degradation or will we live forever…??

  4. So we can change everything around the brain? Immortality through constant Frankenstein-ish behaviour.

  5. Its not possible to transplant a brain i mean its possible but it will change you and your personality u memorized something is noe gone

  6. Short answer no. Basically you cannot line up the nerves from the brainstem and connected directly to the spinal cord itself in simpler terms it won't work after 31 years of being a registered nurse I think that I can speak intelligently about the situation I think they'll try to clone bodies for people and transfer memories but this won't work either.

  7. a body transplant will have 1 survivor and 1 victim. The person whose body you are transplanted into will be the victim.

  8. Never say never, 100 years ago they thought going to space was imposible, just a fantasy, and now theres a guy trying to colonize mars

  9. What about making an artificial brain, transfer the memory to it and BAMMMM, problem solved
    (dont be offended, its just an opinion)

  10. The day we achieve the capability to read thoughts and memories will be the day we will be able to live forever via moving ourselves into computers.

  11. Here's what I think after we get brain transfer successfully one day.We forgot who we were and we get depressed our sleep will messed up.we may be physically weak and communicate wierd and behave strange and die really fast

  12. I bet you could transplant pieces of brain, like small areas that someone’s body is struggling with being replaced with a healthy brain part. Reconnecting bits of brain would be bizarre though

  13. imagine waking up but different brain
    welp your like in amnesya caus that brain is not same as the memories of your original brain

  14. So if u get someone else's brain in your body who will have control over it, the person who gave you the brain, or you.

  15. Don't get head transplant either, you'll end up killed by great great grandson of the original owner of the body.

    Even stopping time and dropping a Road Roller didn't work.

  16. Our brains ARE us. Our bodies are our brains vehicle. Transplanting brains doesn't make sense. Switching bodies would make more sense.

  17. It seems that y’all are neglecting the fact that we have souls. The brain may be the control center of the body but the soul is what gives the body life. Ex. Say if we could successfully transfer a brain and Lary was unhappy was unhappy with his body and wanted to switch to another. He simply cannot. We may be able to move the brain but we cannot transfer the soul to another vessel. How about we just let things be and stop trying to do GOD’S work!

  18. My question is if brain transplants were a possibility would someone who had a learning disability such as autism or adhd would you not have that disability “on the other side”?

  19. I think taking another persons brain in another person is not bringing that person back it’s just taking the brain out of one man and putting it in another you keep the memory and personality of the persons brain that is in your body just a vessel transplant

  20. Warning: THIS IS A JOKE

    duck tape
    Duck tape
    Just use DUCT TAPE
    IT FIXES EVERYTHING WHY CANT IT HELP BRAIN TRANSPLANTS

  21. bc YOuR brain has all your memories and everything about U and knows your body exactly transplanting your brain is just
    …. It won't work

  22. "You know why we cant transplant brain?"

    Me:"Cuz no one will do it"

    Genuis me:"Who would dare?transplant brain?"

    More Genuis me:"Cuz we want to live"

    Albert Einstein:"I love Cremation!"

  23. They is a lady in San Francisco that’s that’s believed to have a new brain and it’s on YouTube search rebooting kimberly's brain I meet this woman and she gave me a feeling like she was off as if she was discovering a new life but I never meet her before this turn of events so maybe I’m tripping

  24. But then its just putting your body jnto someone elses cuz the brain contains all your memory so the client want a new brain actualy dies

  25. Wait so consciousness is basically our souls and consciousness is in our brain so doesn’t that mean we can soon sell our souls?

    Jesus Christ technology

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