Patient May Receive Full Head Transplant in 2016



In January VRCircle featured an article discussing full dive VR and the potential to achieve it via the 2045 project.

If you've not heard of the 2045 project before. It was started by 32-year-old Russian mogul Dmitry Itskov, who made his fortune as founder of the Web publishing company New Media Stars, is creator of the 2045 Initiative, a non-profit, and its Avatar project, which seeks to transpose human consciousness into artificial bodies within the next 30 years. 

The goal of the 2045 project may become one step closer in 2016 when Valery Spiridonov, 30, a computer scientist from Russia will put his trust in Dr. Sergio Canavero to transplant his head.

As a lifelong sufferer of the rare genetic Werdnig-Hoffman muscle wasting disease, he says he wants the chance of a new body before he dies.

It is already 40 years since the first monkey head transplant and since then an operation on a mouse has been carried out in China. But Dr Canavero claims all the necessary techniques already exist to carry out a full human head transplant. He believes he just needs to put the relevant techniques together to carry out the first successful operation.

The new body would come from a normal transplant donor, who is declared brain dead.

Both the donor and the patient would have their head severed from their spinal cord at the same time, using an ultra-sharp blade to give a clean cut. The patient's head would then be moved on to the donor's body and attached using a 'glue' called polyethylene glycol to fuse the two ends of the spinal cord together.

The muscles and blood supply would be stitched up, before the patient is put into a coma for four weeks to stop them moving while the head and body heal together. During that time the patient would be given small electric shocks to stimulate their spinal cord and strengthen the connections between their head and new body.

As the patient is brought out of their medically-induced coma, it is hoped they would be able to move, feel their face, and even speak with the same voice.

Powerful immunosuppressant drugs would be prescribed to stop the new body from being rejected. In addition, the patient would require intensive psychological support. 

To watch 
Dr. Sergio Canavero discuss his ideas enjoy the video below:



Steven Paterson

Based in California. I am Scottish, I like Scotch and, oh yeah, a little VR too.