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(Discover)   How getting a heart transplant can completely change your personality   (blogs.discovermagazine.com) divider line 33
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2392 clicks; posted to Geek » on 31 Jul 2014 at 8:27 AM (6 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-31 07:52:02 AM

media2.s-nbcnews.com


Meh,

 
2014-07-31 08:28:46 AM
What about Dick Che--

basemetal: [media2.s-nbcnews.com image 308x399]
Meh,


DAMMIT
 
2014-07-31 08:30:40 AM

basemetal: [media2.s-nbcnews.com image 308x399]
Meh,


Done in one. Carry on citizens.
 
2014-07-31 08:33:54 AM
FTFA: " To get a better handle on this phenomenon, the researchers surveyed heart transplant recipients to find out whether they thought their personalities changed after the surgery. The short answer? No "

As someone who has taken care of perhaps a hundred heart transplant patients (often before, during, and after), I assure you the answer is no.

For better or worse. I saw a couple of people with the "incorporation fantasies," didn't seem to have much impact.

I am too lazy to look up if people have done the same studies for any major medical event.  Answers probably the same for kidney transplants, amputations, valve replacements, etc.
 
2014-07-31 08:38:58 AM
Why would a Heart transplant affect your personality in any way?
 
2014-07-31 09:03:22 AM

Smoking GNU: Why would a Heart transplant affect your personality in any way?


I suppose it could, in theory, alter someone's outlook on life (I have a new lease on life, I am only alive because another person had the foresight and charity to allow their body to be used after their death, I am incredibly fortunate to have been compatible with the donor, etc etc), but that's probably true of other major transplant recipients, too.
 
2014-07-31 09:15:15 AM

lake_huron: FTFA: " To get a better handle on this phenomenon, the researchers surveyed heart transplant recipients to find out whether they thought their personalities changed after the surgery. The short answer? No "

As someone who has taken care of perhaps a hundred heart transplant patients (often before, during, and after), I assure you the answer is no.

For better or worse. I saw a couple of people with the "incorporation fantasies," didn't seem to have much impact.

I am too lazy to look up if people have done the same studies for any major medical event.  Answers probably the same for kidney transplants, amputations, valve replacements, etc.


I have a different question... When you get a transplant, what happens to your DNA and that of the transplanted item? Does it retain its DNA? Does it slowly match the DNA of your body, or does it end up with some kind of mixture in the middle? What about the rest of your body, does it get "diluted" by the DNA present in the transplanted item? And if it takes time, how long does it take?

Imagine getting a hand transplanted, committing a crime, and leaving DNA that matches the transplanted hand, but doesn't match your own. Yeah, sillt sci-fi stuff, but I've always been curious how that works.
 
2014-07-31 09:21:45 AM

Mikey1969: When you get a transplant, what happens to your DNA and that of the transplanted item?


Nothing.

The patient just starts to develop immune tolerance to the "foreign" transplanted organ over time, and the immunosuppressive medications may be tapered a bit.  People do develop episodes of rejection even later and need t have their immunosuppression increased for a while.
 
2014-07-31 09:27:54 AM

Mikey1969: lake_huron: FTFA: " To get a better handle on this phenomenon, the researchers surveyed heart transplant recipients to find out whether they thought their personalities changed after the surgery. The short answer? No "

As someone who has taken care of perhaps a hundred heart transplant patients (often before, during, and after), I assure you the answer is no.

For better or worse. I saw a couple of people with the "incorporation fantasies," didn't seem to have much impact.

I am too lazy to look up if people have done the same studies for any major medical event.  Answers probably the same for kidney transplants, amputations, valve replacements, etc.

I have a different question... When you get a transplant, what happens to your DNA and that of the transplanted item? Does it retain its DNA? Does it slowly match the DNA of your body, or does it end up with some kind of mixture in the middle? What about the rest of your body, does it get "diluted" by the DNA present in the transplanted item? And if it takes time, how long does it take?

Imagine getting a hand transplanted, committing a crime, and leaving DNA that matches the transplanted hand, but doesn't match your own. Yeah, sillt sci-fi stuff, but I've always been curious how that works.


The DNA stays the same, which is why rejection is a problem. I suspect there might be some epigenetic changes but that only changes the expression of the various genes on the DNA strand, not entire pieces of the DNA itself.
 
2014-07-31 09:34:23 AM

lake_huron: Mikey1969: When you get a transplant, what happens to your DNA and that of the transplanted item?


Nothing.


DerAppie: The DNA stays the same, which is why rejection is a problem. I suspect there might be some epigenetic changes but that only changes the expression of the various genes on the DNA strand, not entire pieces of the DNA itself.


SO you really DO have a body part that has totally different DNA? That's interesting. Someone who can write might be able to make a decent sci-fi/mystery out of that.
 
2014-07-31 09:42:53 AM

Mikey1969: lake_huron: Mikey1969: When you get a transplant, what happens to your DNA and that of the transplanted item?


Nothing.

DerAppie: The DNA stays the same, which is why rejection is a problem. I suspect there might be some epigenetic changes but that only changes the expression of the various genes on the DNA strand, not entire pieces of the DNA itself.

SO you really DO have a body part that has totally different DNA? That's interesting. Someone who can write might be able to make a decent sci-fi/mystery out of that.


Pretty sure that's been done before, especially with bone marrow
 
2014-07-31 09:43:53 AM
www.attackfromplanetb.com

Hand transplants on the other hand? You're completely farked
 
2014-07-31 09:47:08 AM

Mikey1969: lake_huron: Mikey1969: When you get a transplant, what happens to your DNA and that of the transplanted item?


Nothing.

DerAppie: The DNA stays the same, which is why rejection is a problem. I suspect there might be some epigenetic changes but that only changes the expression of the various genes on the DNA strand, not entire pieces of the DNA itself.

SO you really DO have a body part that has totally different DNA? That's interesting. Someone who can write might be able to make a decent sci-fi/mystery out of that.


It's called "chimerism", and yes, it's been done.
 
2014-07-31 09:48:51 AM
Sounds like somebody had...

*glasses*

a change of heart.
 
2014-07-31 09:58:03 AM
Blood transfusions too.

See "Archie's Operation" (All in the Family episode).  Archie gets a blood transfusion from a black woman.
 
2014-07-31 10:01:10 AM

lake_huron: FTFA: " To get a better handle on this phenomenon, the researchers surveyed heart transplant recipients to find out whether they thought their personalities changed after the surgery. The short answer? No "

As someone who has taken care of perhaps a hundred heart transplant patients (often before, during, and after), I assure you the answer is no.

For better or worse. I saw a couple of people with the "incorporation fantasies," didn't seem to have much impact.


Thanks for this. Always nice to hear from an expert. Even nicer when the expert agrees with my prejudices. :)
 
I am too lazy to look up if people have done the same studies for any major medical event.  Answers probably the same for kidney transplants, amputations, valve replacements, etc.


I don't know about studies, but kidney recipients whose transplantation went well have told me that their life radically changed very soon afterwards. They had fewer symptoms, increased energy, more freedom in their diet, and they didn't have to schedule their life around dialysis. I could see this resulting in apparent "personality" changes ('doctor, he hasn't wanted to leave the house in years but now he wants to go skiing in Vail!').

I'm suspicious of this 'research' for a few reasons:
1) I'm a quantitative guy, and qualitative analyses seem pretty subjective. Yes, I'm biased.
2) There was no comparison group. Even a group with no major surgery, showing rates of personality changes over a similar length of time, would have been an improvement. If nothing else, this would give you an idea of the natural proportion of wise-asses in the population who like to mess with surveys.
3) the phrase "In this group, patients showed massive defense and denial reactions, mainly by rapidly changing the subject or making the question ridiculous." In other words, when patients disagreed with the researchers, they were in denial. That's not the hallmark of an unbiased researcher, and qualitative analyses really need unbiased researchers.
 
2014-07-31 10:08:00 AM

Smoking GNU: Why would a Heart transplant affect your personality in any way?


It's something called "essential contagion" or "moral contagion" or "ability contagion" in the cognitive/social sciences. Much like medical contagion, where you risk catching a disease by coming into contact with stuff contacted by sick people (or, more accurately, contacted by virii and bacteria, though often transferred by a sick person), in these cognitive contagions, people believe that coming into contact with an object (e.g., a sweater) that was worn by someone well-known for a particular attribute (e.g., Albert Einstein) transfers some of that person's attribute (e.g., intelligence) to the new wearer. As another example, ask people if they would like to own Hitler's car, and why they would or would not. You'd be surprised at the amount of people who, if they said they wouldn't, at least allude to the possibility that some of Hitler's badness was transferred from him, to the car, and therefore could "infect" whomever owns the car as a reason why not. There's a lot of interesting research into this phenomenon, just how far the average person goes, how intelligent people can rationalize it into an otherwise logically cogent opinion, how not-so-intelligent people are very promiscuous in applying this thinking to their life, and so on.

In the cognitive sciences and in the philosophical discipline of epistemics and ontology, this kind of thinking relies on what is called a "category mistake" or "ontological confusion," which are terms to describe thinking of one thing as literally being like a completely distinct thing along certain broad categories of being (e.g., physical things, psychological processes, biological things, physical processes, biological processes, etc.). The reality is personality has no physical attributes per se, but people treat it as though these things were physical entities. A psychological process is treated as a physical entity.

There's some element of self-fulfilling prophecy into it as well, and perhaps some degree of placebo effect thrown in for good measure. But the gist of it is this: human beings, on some level, can be led to believe personality traits and attributes can be transferred along from person to person in the same way a disease can be. In this particular case, you also have an actual medical element to it - organ transplant. That makes the possibility much more... real, to some people. Add in popular conceptions of the heart as being the seat of emotion, and there you have it. People thinking a heart transplant can give you a new personality. It's actually not too dissimilar from the prohibition on receiving blood transfusions for Jehovah's Witnesses - they view blood as containing properties that it simply doesn't, which leads them to believe it is against the will of their god to take in the blood of another person.
 
2014-07-31 10:23:34 AM

Smoking GNU: Why would a Heart transplant affect your personality in any way?


I've heard stories that people who've received transplant organs have at times claimed they could recall memories from the donor, like they're tapping into the supposed genetic memory of the donor. Sounds more sci-fi than anything, but it's a story I've seen pop up occasionally over the years.
 
2014-07-31 10:40:09 AM

Smoking GNU: Why would a Heart transplant affect your personality in any way?


You might be receiving the heart of a murderer. You could get haunted by his ghost!
 
2014-07-31 10:45:15 AM
tng.trekcore.com

Unavailable for comment.

/First thing I thought of.
 
2014-07-31 10:48:55 AM
My dad had a liver transplant years ago. (exposed to chemicals at his job) He changed from regular a$$hole to super a$$hole after the transplant.
 
2014-07-31 10:50:36 AM

gfid: Blood transfusions too.

See "Archie's Operation" (All in the Family episode).  Archie gets a blood transfusion from a black woman.


Off topic, but I'm wondering, do different racial groups have different prevalence rates of A/B or Rh+/- blood antigens? Wonder if we might see any patterns that inform our understanding of the path of human evolution, the way we did with genetic and linguistic studies.
 
2014-07-31 10:53:39 AM
Most of the 'theories' I've heard in regards to this believe any change in personality might be due to some degree of hypoxia incurred during the process.  I've never heard of any scientific studies linking the two.  Personally, my father had bypass nine years ago and he was bit 'off' for awhile but he's gone back to being his usual, bipolar self.
 
2014-07-31 11:00:45 AM
That is so interesting

that the article completely refutes what the headline says.
 
2014-07-31 11:10:18 AM
1. Your thorax has been pried open like a clamshell. You feel a biatchanged.
 
2014-07-31 11:23:53 AM

gameshowhost: 1. Your thorax has been pried open like a clamshell. You feel a biatchanged.


That is a very surprisingly on-topic filter-change.
 
2014-07-31 12:55:05 PM

Delta1212: Sounds like somebody had...

*glasses*

a change of heart.


img.fark.net
 
2014-07-31 01:16:05 PM
Before looking at the thread, I asked myself, "I wonder how many posts before we get a Dick Cheney reference?"
 
2014-07-31 02:10:11 PM

Delta1212: Sounds like somebody had...

*glasses*

a change of heart.


This is +1
 
2014-08-01 12:16:46 AM

Spaceballer: My dad had a liver transplant years ago. (exposed to chemicals at his job) He changed from regular a$$hole to super a$$hole after the transplant.


Yeah, this "changes outlook on life" stuff is balls. My mom has terminal cancer, and she changed from a condescending, micromanaging control freak to a control freak with less energy. She's got about six weeks left, and she still biatches about whether I use a mop or toilet paper to clean spills on the floor. I'm taking care of her right now, but I hope she doesn't wonder too hard about why I mostly avoided her after college. People don't change as death nears, apparently.
 
2014-08-01 04:39:34 AM
Sorry about your mom, cancer sucks.
 
2014-08-01 08:39:27 AM

Arkanaut: gfid: Blood transfusions too.

See "Archie's Operation" (All in the Family episode).  Archie gets a blood transfusion from a black woman.

Off topic, but I'm wondering, do different racial groups have different prevalence rates of A/B or Rh+/- blood antigens? Wonder if we might see any patterns that inform our understanding of the path of human evolution, the way we did with genetic and linguistic studies.


There are different prevalence rates of blood type, HLAs, etc. by race. Statistically, they're used in a number of ways, including matching organs* and as supplementary evidence for human migration patterns. Individually, e.g. to trace your own personal ancestry, they're less useful.

*There are provisions in the rules allocating kidneys from cadavers that strongly prefer matching by blood type and also give precedence to candidates who have similar HLAs, since these candidates will need to take smaller doses of the anti-rejection medication. There is nothing in the rules about preferential allocation by race. If anyone tried to make rules about allocating by race, everyone would claim that they're in the group with the best access to organs.
 
2014-08-01 03:11:50 PM

Kome: gameshowhost: 1. Your thorax has been pried open like a clamshell. You feel a biatchanged.

That is a very surprisingly on-topic filter-change.


dammit
 
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