Two surgeons in China developing a method to transplant a human head
The second main technological barrier is immunology, or maintain the pinnacle from rejecting the physique and vice versa. “You need to visualize it the place the physique is the donor organ and the pinnacle is the recipient. It is not a head transplant; its a physique transplant,” Hardy mentioned.
The physique rejecting the pinnacle is unlikely as a result of there are few white blood cells, that are produced in bone marrow and make up the immune system. Among the immunosuppressive medicine that transplant recipients take, together with Tacrolimus and Cyclosporine, which goal white blood cells, and the steroid prednisone, are poisonous to the mind. The mind is protected by the blood mind barrier, nonetheless, which ought to stop them from coming into. That mentioned, the barrier is “leaky and unpredictable,” Hardy mentioned.
The principle concern is the pinnacle rejecting the physique. If that occurred, particular person organs together with the center would shut down and the affected person would die, however there are methods to prep the physique earlier than surgical procedure to keep away from that, like changing all of the bone marrow within the host from that of the pinnacle’s prior kind, tricking it into considering it’s its personal immune system.
Utilizing related ways, lately kidney transplant sufferers have been in a position to reside for 2 years with out taking immunosuppressive medicine after six months of normal immunosuppressant drug remedy. “Immunosuppression will not be going to be the foremost block 10 to 20 years from now,” Hardy mentioned. Nonetheless, there’s a dearth of analysis, and the issues that might go incorrect are multitudinous.
For example, in Ren’s research in animals, whereas the mice and rats efficiently had their cords reattached and regained partial motor perform, all of them died after about two weeks attributable to “intestinal points.”
“The concept the gut did not work is under no circumstances stunning. It was predictable,” Hardy mentioned. The mind is the origin level of nerves that department out from the spinal twine and go all around the physique, which make the intestines transfer, stimulate the heartbeat and set off all types of different features. “That is without doubt one of the causes Canavero will not be able to do something proper now,” Hardy mentioned.
Ren agrees. “After all, we nonetheless want extra research within the laboratory utilizing totally different animals,” he mentioned. He’s at the moment targeted on the issue of reattaching the spinal twine. After that, they may transfer on to tackling different issues, such because the intestinal points and the central nervous system.
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