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Human Head Transplants Are Not So Far Off

Helping Patients With Physical Limitations

A head transplant could give a patient a new, functioning body when theirs has failed.

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Weird Science

By 2017, Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, believes he could complete the first real human head transplant.

 

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, Boris Karloff, 1939

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, Boris Karloff, 1939

The Spinal Splice

The trickiest part of connecting a head to a different body is the spinal splice. It begins with a clean slice in order to reconnect.

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Spagetti

Millions of neurons that look like spaghetti and that’s what the doctor must fuse together from the body and the head.

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Polyethylene Glycol

Canavero is looking for a brain dead body in just the right state … the doctors have given no hope of recovery, but the family has yet to pull the plug. If he can get severe the head and introduce polyethylene glycol, he can start measuring electrophysiological responses

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Two Weeks In Flux

He estimates that it should take two weeks for the first axons to begin to lace themselves together. The patient will be kept in a coma until then.

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Wake Up

The spinal splice will be bathed with a mild electrical current, which has been known to heal spinal cord injuries. With physical therapy, Canavero hopes to have that person up and running within a year from awakening from their coma.

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