1. Click here to sign the "Publish the NICE ME/CFS Guideline Now" petition.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 6th September 2021 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice

Why don't woodpeckers have brain damage?

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Marco, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Marco

    Marco Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    277
    I have to admit that the idea of woodpeckers and headaches gives me the giggles.

    But it's a valid question when you appreciate that their pecking can generate forces up to 1200G.

    Scientists have now found some evidence of the accumulation of tau protein - the same proteins linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans.

    Perhaps they do eventually show behavioural signs of brain damage or maybe tau proteins in the woodpeckers' case are an adaptive response :

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/could-woodpeckers-teach-nfl-how-prevent-brain-injuries
     
    shak8, Squeezy, Barry and 7 others like this.
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Guest

    Messages:
    2,275
    Location:
    Netherlands
    The future of American football: played by woodpeckers :p

    Edited to add my illustration of how this will look:
    :emoji_hatched_chick::emoji_bird: :emoji_football::emoji_baby_chick:
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    Squeezy, Rabbit, Alvin and 7 others like this.
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,092
    Its possible that they may not remember they have a headache?
     
    shak8, Squeezy, Barry and 4 others like this.
  4. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,672
    Location:
    UK
    If a lifespan is short (I don't know the how long woodpeckers live) then degenerative diseases may not be a problem. Evolutionary adaptations will lead to survival so it could be that something that would lead to degenerative disease later in life but have short term benefits could be useful in an animal with a relatively short lifespan and where the time they look after their babies is short.
     
  5. Marco

    Marco Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    277
    Yes indeed. All they need to do is make it to reproductive age and a little beyond. But what if they do live to a ripe old age (relatively speaking).
     
    Invisible Woman likes this.
  6. Valentijn

    Valentijn Guest

    Messages:
    2,275
    Location:
    Netherlands
    A long life for a woodpecker still wouldn't be at all comparable to a long life for a human. The tissues simply aren't around for as long.
     
    Mij and Invisible Woman like this.
  7. Marco

    Marco Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    277
    Isn't tissue longevity related to metabolism?

    Possibly : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15855403
     
    arewenearlythereyet likes this.
  8. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    5,036
  9. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,092
    I thought that as well. Also with regards to heart rate, doesn't a mouses heart have as many beats in it as an elephant during their very different lifetimes ? I thought that this was related to new cardiac muscle cells being a lot slower to be replaced than normal cells. Having said that the last time I studied cell biology and anatomy was the late eighties at uni so I may be remembering it wrong ot it may be out of date.

    Besides, I have no idea what a woodpeckers heart rate is in relation to its normal lifespan so ....:ill:
     
    Marco likes this.
  10. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,092
  11. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    552
    Have you watched « Concussion » with Will Smith ? If you like this subject I think you’d like it !
     
  12. Marco

    Marco Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    277
    Thanks. My interest in this and related issues is more generally what may happen to the brain after an 'insult' but I'm always on the lookout for a decent movie.
     
    Dechi likes this.
  13. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    UK
    That's a coincidence - I'm watching this right now!
     
    Dechi likes this.
  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    9,746
    It seems that woodpeckers live up to about 15 years.

    This guy seemed an old bird.

    It took me ten years to find it, eventually in Latvia - the elusive white backed woodpecker.



    A91A0908.JPG
     
  15. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,500
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Slightly off-topic (which seems to be what my brain does nowadays...), I have a chook who is over 6 years old. It’s been interesting watching her ageing. She sleeps for most of the time, and if I don’t get her up in the morning, she will stay in the coop and then of course doesn’t eat. When I persuade her outside, she is very slow to eat and I have to remind her where the food is. So far, she is remembering to drink unaided. But - definitely cognitive deterioration as well as physical stiffness and I suspect painful joints. Some days, she goes round for hours with one eye shut!! However, she still has a good life!
     
    TrixieStix and Wonko like this.
  16. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    7,394
    I thought they have some sort of shock-absorber mechanism.
     
  17. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    7,394
    Or too brain damaged to know it?
     
    Marco, Alvin and Wonko like this.
  18. Marco

    Marco Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    277
    Very nice photo. Well you're a doctor. Did he seem compos mentis?
     
    Wonko likes this.

Share This Page