Head transplant is a surgical operation which involves the point of insertion of a one organism’s head onto the body of another, including brain.
In 1970, a first head transplant successfully moves out on a monkey, but unfortunately it diesafter the head reject by the body’s immune system, and another reason is technology. Lately, this transplant seemed totally doubtful.
While, testing on nine rats with polyethylene glycol (PEG), eight alive a month after the operation, and they had regained the ability to walk.
Recently, a Chinese doctor conducted head transplants on more than 1,000 mice. However, those mice have lived longer than a few minutes.
Earlier this year, Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canaverobelieve it’s possible and announced his plans to perform the first human head transplant.
He declares the schedule of first head transplant on 2017. He estimates the procedure of transplant to take 100 surgeons nearby 36 hours long journey to complete the process. The estimation of operation cost is $10million.
Challenges of head transplant
However, the procedure will involve spinal cord fusion (SCF).The surgery requires the brainfirst cooled down to 12-15˚C to ensure that the cells last longer than a few minutes without oxygen,and not all brains can survive.
Combining a spinal cord has never done before, and may not possible. This is probably the main objection for people.
Using a sharp blade to cut the tissue around the neck to limit the amount of damage the spinal cord sustains.
Canavero suggests that, the spinal cord of the donor body will be fused using a chemical called polyethylene glycol. The chemical promotes nerve growth in the spinal cord, and it could be used as a sort of glue between the body and head.
Also,the immune system not occur when the body sees a new part as foreign and attacks. However, all the animals in these experiments died so quickly, and many places the blame at organ rejection. In head, there are more organs to be rejected. Although the technology has come on a long way. Some believe the quantity of anti-rejection medication required would poison the body.
Side effects of a human head transplant
If the surgery goes ahead as planned. But, the main risk is that if the body will reject the head and the person will die. While, transplanting on animals the longest any has lived is eight days. However, Canavero argues that his methodology is different, but he’s pretty vague on the details.
Canavero explains, the patient will be kept in a coma for a month, during the time spinal cord will be subject to electrical stimulation via implanted electrodes in order to boost the new nerve connections.
While, a volunteer Valery Spiridonov, a 30-year-old Russian man faces a rare genetic disorder called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, in which motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem gradually die, resulting paralysis. He was a first person to volunteer for the procedure.
He said, “If I don’t try this chance, my fate will be very sad. With every year my state is getting worse.” “I can hardly control my body now. I need help every day, every minute. I am now 30 years old, although people rarely live to more than 20 with this disease.”
In 2015, Spiridonov confirmed that private donors had approached him to ensure the surgery goes ahead. Canavero also received several offers.
The ethical issues of a human head transplant have taken something of a back seat, but there some definite concerns. The most aspect of this transplanting a whole body to save a single life at great expense is the best use of a cadaver full of smaller organs ripe for transplant.
First head transplant
As the first head transplant now looks set to take place in China, many have raised concerns that the donor bodies will be provided by recently executed criminals. In the past, “China criticized for using the organs of executed prisoners without their consent.”
Some experts have pointed out the proposed surgery, Dr. Christopher Winfree, assistant professor of neurological surgery at Columbia University said, A fancy glue is not going to fix that, even if you could get them physically, nerves themselves don’t grow too much in the spinal cord.
Gordon R. Tobin, from University of Louisville said, nerves did not function as we planned, and that was just a few of them. Neurosurgeons just don’t know enough about the brain yet to even know what they need to connect. It’s hard to solve the problem if you don’t even know what that problem is.
So, the transplant will take place by the end of 2017. The surgery runs at Harbin Medical University in china.
More information: [Alphr]