|Aging brain was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.|
|WikiProject Medicine||(Rated B-class, Mid-importance)|
Biological immortality and permanent memories
Since adult human brain and nerve cells do not regularly regenerate (as I understand it, its only recently been discovered that new brain and nerve cells can appear after 4 or 5 years of age, and then only rarely), allowing humans to store long-term memories indefinitely, excepting for brain damage, would not a biologically immortal human, whose somatic cells, including brain and nerve cells, only divide in order to replace damaged, destroyed, or aberrant cells, eventually reach his brain's limit for information storage unless he caused himself regular brain damage in order to purge himself of old memories? Has research into biological immortality sparked any neurological research on this topic? It seems that even if a euthereon were biologically immortal, the brain would still have a functional lifespan: once it's become over-fraught with information, the creation of any new long-term memories after that point would be impossible, unless by some hitherto unknown mechanism the creation of new memories would be possible either by "rewriting" existing brain cells with new memories or "deleting" older brain cells altogether and replacing them. Is enough known about the mammalian brain to guess which, if either, of these two mechanisms is possible without further genetic adaptations to deal with this side-effect of biological immortality (we'll assume for the sake of argument that overcoming the side-effect of increased cancer risk is an integral part of biological immortality, as is an inherent immunity to all but the most rapidly spreading viruses and bacteria, and that this has had no functional impact on the process of creating and storing memories) in a species like Homo sapiens which has almost entirely overcome predation, and which scenerio (rewriting or replacing) is more probable?
This may seem frivolous speculation, but with biological immortality being highly marketable and the number of cosmetic companies that seek a means of attaining it (despite the damage this will do to our planet and our species as a whole), a thorough study of the brain with regard to maturation and senescence would ideally seek to understand the difference between a brain that experiences senescence and one that is biologically immortal, for the same reason drug testers use control groups: to truly understand the effects of senescence on the brain of a given species, we must know what happens to a brain of the same animal species when it doesn't undergo senescence. This is what prompted me to make this post, as it seems there must at least be one or two competing hypotheses, if not an actual theory, concerning the age-independent lifespan of the brain. If the body could live forever, what would happen to the brain? --Þórrstejn [ˡθoɝ.staɪʲn]: Hammer of Thor talk 08:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
--This is a response to the above post by Þórrstejn [ˡθoɝ.staɪʲn]: Hammer of Thor: While your commentary is interesting, it is not well-grounded in recent science on the subject. I don't have much time to go into detail so I'll briefly correct you on the most important erroneous assumption you make here, which is that memory is encoded, somehow, into neurons, the cell bodies themselves. This is, as anyone with even a very simple understanding of neurology would know, completely impossible and false. Based on our current knowledge of neuron cell microbiology, complex information such as memories are not stored inside the cell bodies themselves. No, it is the numerous connections between neurons that lead to the whole effect of memory formation. Dendritic connections between neurons are constantly worn away and reformed, and dendritic growth is something the human brain is capable of doing throughout its life. Dendrites, if you don't know, are the "receiving" ends of neurons, which are branching and tree-like in appearance (hence the name). Therefore, assuming immortality were possible, there is no reason to assume that a constant cycle of memory formation and loss wouldn't also be possible, though unless means of preventing age-related slowing of processing speed due to plaque formation, neuron loss, etc. are discovered, the efficiency of memory formation with very long life would be impaired. --Anonymous —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 23:46, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
- This review is transcluded from Talk:Aging brain/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to fail this article's nomination for GA status. Here are the issues I saw in an initial sweep through the article:
- The largest issue I found is with old sources and sources that do not conform to WP:MEDRS. Per MEDRS, the article should rely mainly on secondary sources and sources newer than five years old, if possible. In a quick look through the sources I see a lot that are over five years old, and many that are over ten years old - including at least one that is over 25 years old!! In the world of neurobiology and neuropsychology, this is forever! I also noted a heavy reliance on primary sources (one "in which the authors directly participated in the research or documented their personal experiences.", according to MEDRS), including some very old primary sources, which is a big no-no in medical articles.
- The Delaying the Effects of Aging section is very choppy and puts heavy emphasis on a couple of individual studies
- Inconsistencies in the method of citing sources - some page numbers are given in the text in parentheses and some are given in the references.
- Section headers should have the first letter of the first word capitalized and the first letters of the remainder of the words lowercase, unless they are proper nouns. So, "Delaying the effects of aging", not "Delaying the Effects of Aging"
- First three external links are dead
- One dab link to Sulcus
- It might be good to also take a look at WP:MEDMOS.
Because of the major issues with the sourcing and the lack of response by the nominator to the other articles they have nominated, I am going to fail this article's nomination for GA status. When the sourcing issues (and hopefully the others as well) have been addressed, this article may be brought back to GAN. However, I would suggest perhaps asking for a check from some of the wonderful people at WP:WikiProject Medicine first - although this is not a necessity for a good article nomination, there are some very helpful people over there who really understand the intricacies of writing about medical articles on Wikipedia. Good luck in your future editing, Dana boomer (talk) 01:08, 29 December 2011 (UTC)