British neurosurgeon Bruce Mathew said that over the next ten years, head transplants could be successful. Attempts to complete this procedure have already been driven by Iranian Sergio Cavanero.
According to the British newspaper The TelegraphMathew explained that to graft the head into another body, the entire spinal cord must also be transplanted. "Transplanting the brain and keeping it close to the spinal cord is not really impossible," he said. So for Mathew, the idea of cutting the marrow is "totally ridiculous."
At the moment, the possibility of performing this surgery is far, but the expert said that thanks to the great technological advances "will probably occur in the next ten years". "At the moment we can connect one or two nerves, but with robotics and artificial intelligence, we can do it soon with 200 nerves," he said.
Despite the projection, the surgeon clarified that there is no certainty about how to overcome some difficulties, such as rejection of the recipient body to donated material. In this regard, the neurosurgeon said that transferring intestinal bacteria along with the head and umbilical cord and stem cell grafting could help the transplant be accepted by the body.
Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is a pioneer in this type of research and in 2017 announced that he had successfully performed a head transplant on a corpse in China. According to elem the intervention lasted 18 hours and showed that it is possible to successfully reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels. The surgery was led by Xiaoping Ren, who in 2016 had successfully grafted a head into a monkey's body.
“The first transplant was performed on human cadavers. The next stage is a complete exchange between brain-dead organ donors. This is the final step for the formal head transplant, which is imminent, ”said Canavero. “Everyone said it was impossible. But the surgery was successful. ”
In 2015, Cavanero announced that he was going to have the first human head transplant in 2017. Russian Valery Spiridonov, a 30-year-old computer programmer, was chosen to become the first patient to have a head transplant in the world. Spiridonov suffers from a rare condition of genetic muscle loss known as Werdnig-Hoffmann disease. There are currently no known treatments.