It won’t be long before people can switch their heads with brand new bodies. Such a concept has always been such an ideological and imaginative piece of science fiction only existent in novels and movies. However, there has been a massive step of progress and a significant sign for revolutionary medical technique.
Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero has apparently claimed that the first head transplant on a monkey was conducted and was successful. A team led by Xiaoping Ren at Harbin Medical University, China was able to properly connect the blood supply between the head and the new body and did not allow causation for any neurological injury of any kind. The Chinese surgical team conducted the operation with the hoal of testing cross-circulation and hypothermia as an effective neuro-protective strategy.
Sergio Canavero, who is an associate of the Chinese team led by Dr. Xiaoping Ren, is well-known for being vocal about his determination in his controversial revelation of focusing on attempting a human head transplant last year that went viral on the media. After he revealed that he planned to attempt a human head transplant back in 2015 within a two-year time frame of saying so, Canavero received much speculation, mostly social media backlash at the insanity of the concept.
“The procedure starts with the subject’s head as it is cooled down to around -15ºC and removed from its original body”
The maverick surgeon exclaims that, “It’s important that people stop thinking a human head transplant is impossible. This is absolutely possible and we’re working towards it.”
The procedure starts with the subject’s head as it is cooled down to around -15ºC and removed from its original body. The Donor body is prepared quickly and timely as all cords and arteries are severed simultaneously. A very strong polyethylene glycol glue is used to connect the spinal cord while everything else is stitched up together.
The cooling of the head during the procedure allowed the monkey’s head to survive without suffering brain damage. The specimen was only kept alive fro approximately 20 hours following the operation for ethical reasons. There was no need to keep the monkey alive away from its original body for the sake of an experimental procedure.
“Sergio Canavero plans to have the first patient of the human head transplant to be a 31-year-old Russian, Valery Spriridonov who is suffering from a genetic muscle wasting disease”
The research began from the cutting and fusing of spinal cords of mice to actual applied research on monkeys and now they have claimed to perform initial testings on human cadavers or corpses.
Sergio Canavero plans to have the first patient of the human head transplant to be a 31-year-old Russian, Valery Spriridonov who is suffering from a genetic muscle wasting disease. However, there are legal complications that require a permission and commitment from Russian authorities for a body.
The progression of the seemingly controversial procedure is advancing as they reach out to Russian surgeons in preparation of Valery Sprirdonov’s body for operation and looks towards approaching Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for financing. In addition, Vietnam has reported offered as the host country for future head transplant. All of this is reportedly on schedule and according the HEAVEN/AHBR HEAD TRANSPLANT INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE EFFORT, the expected date of the realisation of the procedure is estimated on Christmas 2017.