Personality changes associated with organ transplant surgery

The heart wants what it wants…no matter what chest it beats in.

Recent research has revealed an additional correlation between organ transplant surgery and personality changes.

In a study published in Transplantology, researchers at the University of Colorado asked 47 participants (23 heart recipients and 24 other organ recipients) to complete an online survey detailing their experiences after a transplant. A staggering 89% of all transplant recipients reported postoperative personality changes, regardless of the organ received.

The CU study is among the first to track personality changes that occur after myriad types of organ transplants.

The first successful organ transplant was a kidney transplant performed in 1954 by Dr. Joseph Murray at Peter Brigham Hospital in Boston. andrys lukowski –

Previous research tended to focus on the after-effects and anecdotes of heart transplant patients whose experiences were extreme and long-lasting. Science Alert writes that after a heart transplant, some patients report feeling more like their donor than themselves, developing new preferences in food, art, sex and behaviors.

A transplant recipient recalls developing a deep love of music after receiving the heart of a young musician in the 1990s. She told scientists: ‘I had never been able to play before, but after my transplant I I started to love music. I felt it in my heart.

But the recent UC study indicates that our individuality and preferences may very well be contained in every cell of the body, not just the heart.

CU survey respondents reported at least four personality changes related to temperament, emotions, food, identity, religious/spiritual beliefs, and/or memories. The only change that differed between the heart and the other organ recipients was a change in physical attributes.

Organ transplant recipients have reported changes in mood and new preferences for food, art or sex. P.A.

The study’s researchers argue: “The similarities between the two groups suggest that heart transplant recipients may not be unique in their experience of personality changes after transplantation, but rather such changes may occur after transplantation. transplantation of any organ. »

Last year, The Post reported that blood transfusion recipients also reported changes in their mood, behavior and even memories after the procedure.

These changes seem to defy scientific explanation.

Blood transfusions are studied for their physical and psychological impacts on recipients. Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

A 2013 study from the University of Michigan found that “there is a persistent belief that the internal parts of individuals have causal powers and that, if mixed, they can cause the recipient to adopt some of the characteristics of the donor”.

Sarah-Jane Leslie, a professor of philosophy at Princeton University and one of the study’s co-authors, said in a statement at the time: “Even though the science does not support this possibility, the People still believe that transplants can cause personality changes. .”

However, Science Alert offers the “systemic memory hypothesis” as a possible explanation. This hypothesis suggests that all living cells contain memory, meaning that history can be transmitted from donor to transplant via tissue.

Personality changes reported by patients after heart transplantation are well documented. Joe Carrotta for NYU Langone Health

Even if the nerve connections of a transplanted organ are severed, the nerves can still function within the organ, with evidence suggesting that the nerve connection can be at least partially restored within a year after surgery. Thus, neurotransmitter interactions based on the donor’s memories could provoke a physiological response from the recipient’s nervous system that would impact their personality.

Additionally, donor cells have been found to circulate in recipients for up to two years after transplantation. According to Science Alert, it’s not clear where these cells go, but their inflammatory effects could explain personality changes: “DNA, once escaped from cells, appears to trigger inflammation, and it has been shown that inflammation Chronic low intensity changes personality traits. .”

It is not yet known whether the effects of porcine organ transplantation lead patients to behave in a porcine manner.


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Gn Health

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