How much longer till brain failure?

edited February 2017 in Everything else
Okay we all get old, but how old can we get? In this thread I am sololy thinking hypothetical could as organs like the heart and bones age could they be replaced with newer parts excluding the brain, how long can we live till brain failure? Alzymers, dimensisia, cancer even could all play factors yes but does the brain it's self have a expectation date? I am wonder if that the brain is the ultimate limt to life extension....

John Doe
Yeah i posted this one earlier then I meant to, on the new site we need a way for op to delete posts....


  • edited February 2017
    I think this is the million dollar question since we don't have any empirical evidence showing what age a healthy brain that's been exposed to current life-extension technologies is able to reach on average. The answer to your query will increase in complexity if/when reanimation from cryogenic suspension is successfully demonstrated. If so, the question is perturbed by a choice in preferred measurement approach. For example, the total time the specimen was suspended plus animated time equals age. Alternatively, the age can be represented as the sum total of animated time range lengths only. Is anyone else able to shed light on this? One way that might help us get more clued into this subject is how a dead brain behaves when an artificial body is built around it and normal electrical stimulation is applied to limbic pathways (if this is any indication of how it might behave when re-animated). At this point, there's so much speculation that it's difficult to move past the realms of philosophy and metaphysics. 
  • Well, I don't think we have enough information to answer that question yet. For one thing we are not clear if the aging of the brain is the result of the aging body failing rather than the brain necessarily fail after living for so long.
  • @decal
    ERROS and MEG (hell maybe even MRI) can do that once we have something to show for our efforts in life extension....

    Yeah I am supprised I haven't found anything on this in the alsymers/dimensia papers I have read, not many I will admit....
  • Well, that depends on what you mean by brain failure. And consciousness for that matter. I mean, alzheimers keeps your brain from creating enough dopamine, if memory serves.This can be lessened with supplements, and improved for many years by a certain kind of gene therapy. I'll need to go have a look for the papers that talk about that gene therapy, though. The brain is very complicated. And that's the understatement of the century. We'll be battling with bugs in the system for a long time. Maybe forever. That said, I'm not sure what the lifespan of a brain cell on its own is. Might want to start there.
  • @TheGreyKnight: I think you're thinking of Parkinson's in regards to dopamine. In Alzheimer's it's acetylcholine that gets depleted.
  • Good catch @IvoTheSquire . I always get those 2 mixed up. I don't have any hard evidence, but it'd bet that you could use a similar form of gene therapy to combat Alzheimer's. 
  • I remember reading an article but can't seem to find it. Found this one instead:
    The big bladder "powder" has been used to regrow a finger due to the body being able to use the big bladder as a resource. It was even used to regrow leg muscles in a vet who stepped on an IED pretty well. I'm not too sure why we haven't heard more about this research or if it hit a dead end somewhere.
    If we could use that to help our body to create new cells without (spent  10 minutes looking for the danged word! Starts with a Z I think.) damaging the DNA structure that causes us to age. Then we would be able to live long enough to see how and why our brain will fail if it does due to reasons beyond the DNA being slowly destroyed as the cells reproduce.
    This thread does make you think!
  • Except that neurons don't tend to reproduce. Glial cells like astrocytes and oligodendrocytes does a bit but not much either as far as I know. There is a reason why brain cancer is rare and most commonly from metastasis (the most common and also amongst the nastiest primary brain tumors, GBM, has an incident rate of 3.19 in 100,000).
  • I usually type out my answers better but im hungover and my head hurts. In my psychology class a couple years back I learned that alzymers is pretty much an inevitable occurrence with age. 

    "One in eight people age 65 and older (13 percent)
    has Alzheimer’s disease.A2
    • Nearly half of people age 85 and older (45 percent)
    have Alzheimer’s disease.A3"

    by the age of 90 nearly 50% would have the disease. and likelyhood increases exponentially with age. id assume about 60% at 100,  maybe 85% at 110. and at 120 i think it just wouldnt be worth it.  We have to find a solution for alzymers because it seems even if we were to replace all the other broken parts life would probably not be worth living past 110-120 for most people. since alzymers would  
  • And i know as biohackers/transhumanists many of you guys are interested in achieving biological immortality. I think mankind has always wanted to escape its mortality however i think that drive to live forever is foolish in the sense that as we grow older we accomplish milestones, such as marriage, kids, grandchildren.. etc. and I think that passion for life slowly extinguishes and once we have lived our lives we naturally accept death. I believe in science and thinking about the purpose of life from a biological perspective I come to the conclusion that its to pass down our dna or whatever. animals usually live only as long as they need to breed and produce offspring. animals that produce many offspring quickly like insects sometimes live a couple weeks. big mammals that raise their young usually live decades. Our mortality and biological purpose is no different than theirs. I love life and would like to prolong it as much as possible but their will come a time when my body has accomplished its purpose and nature takes its course. So even all of you who think you want to live forever will one day realize that immortality is foolish. Without death life wouldn't be valuable. 
  • edited February 2017
    There would still be death, there is just a lot people could contribute to the world while we are her longer then our share of time.... Plus if immortality is failed something good will come in time from it.... Lastly I feel this is a personal choice on weather your life is worth living after a certain age.
  • @dezie_mm: I'm not quite sure about the stats but that doesn't sound right. Also, we don't know whether that is the brain failing or the body / support failing first that causes that (BBB can be affected by what is going on in the rest of the body, which as I'm finding now is often how stuff that can't cross the BBB can still affect the brain).

    To be honest though that since even the simplest machines can't last forever, I highly doubt that immortality is possible anyway.

    I'm just more curious as to under optimal condition how long would a brain last, and the answer is "we don't know yet."
  • my stats are 5 years old but they are factual. newer reports have slightly improved numbers but the percentages are virtually the same. 
  • edited March 2017
    After some thought, I still think that saying that "dementia is inevitable" is still early at this stage when we don't know the details of how it comes about and it's link with aging (like everything else linked with aging). It's like saying "dying of smallpox is inevitable" in the days before understanding of the disease have improved, in the case of smallpox that is to the point of vaccines available.

    Until somebody has found out how dementia is linked with the brain getting old and show me how the process cannot be altered without significant compromise to the brain function I think saying "seeking biological immortality is foolish" is a bit premature.
  • edited March 2017
    They have drugs around that, the effectiveness of which I do not know.
  • edited April 2017
    Well, one big cause of alzheimer's is the accumulation of beta amyloid
    plaques, which are formed when waste proteins aren't succesfully
    eliminated by the glymphatic system. Sleep quality declines with age,
    inability to sleep causes accumulation of beta amyloid protein, beta
    amyloid protein cross-linking causes beta amyloid plaques, which then
    leads to dementia.Link. Ultrasonics can help break down some of these plaques. Figuring out ways to hack sleep in elderly people to restore good solid periods of no-rem sleep would do more to prevent them. But that's just one of a lot of things that can go wrong with a brain as it ages.  Aubrey de Grey divided most of the causes of aging up into seven categories. We'll need to do something about EACH of these if we wanted to get the human body to the point where it wasn't aging / could be maintained - even the brain. Things like brain cancer, which are rarer in a normal lifespan will become a certainty over a long enough timeline. Everything that can go wrong, will eventually go wrong. I think the day will come when we'll have maintainance of the human body worked out, although I imagine I'll be dead by then;P
  • Honestly I think the notion of you could be transferred over to a android before we perfect the human medicine....
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