We explore the basis of brain diseases on this week's Naked Scientists. We find out what happens to the brain in Huntington's disease, discover the genes behind Alzheimers and a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis or MS. Also, the nerve cells in the ear that make loud sounds painful, the extraordinary eyes of the Mantis Shrimp and the world's largest web spinning spider. Plus, how spiders make glue from silk and snot, and in Kitchen Science, we show you a way to fool your brain into making your body do something unexpected.
*How Long Do Brain Disease Last For?* Luke, Sun, 25th Oct 2009
How Long Can system functions Last For? Luke, Tue, 27th Oct 2009
Unfortunately, probably a life time since the brain and spinal cord are notoriously poor at self-repair in adulthood.
The insulation on the nerve ‘wires’, (myelin on axons) , can grow back if damaged.
In relation to the above, I think that depends what you call "discernable". At sufficiently high resolution it's almost certain that someone would have permanent changes to their brain if they were sufficiently ill to be rendered unconscious. This might be only the loss of a few nerve cells in the long run, but a permanent loss nonetheless.
Joseph Frank asked the Naked Scientists: Your guest said that Alzheimer's is progressive and I have read that before but my father was diagnosed with it using extensive tests 15 years ago and he isn't that bad. I wonder if he really has it or if the new medications are just very effective for him or if he has a rare form of it. What do you think? Joseph Frank , Fri, 4th Dec 2009
Re: RD 28/10/09 msg stating: "The insulation on the nerve ‘wires’, (myelin on axons) , can grow back if damaged. This is why near-miraculous recoveries can spontaneously occur in MS because re-myelination is possible. But when the nerve ‘wire’ (axon) is damaged typically it does not re-grow."