If only restarting a brain was as easy as restarting a clock.
Is death the next thing to go? As if the world’s first head transplant wasn’t enough of a futuristic biomedical advance, now scientists are talking about reversing brain death. Bioquark and Revita Life Sciences were recently granted approval from American and Indian review boards to do just that.
The details, because of course there are details: the permission granted gives the companies the go-ahead to conduct a months-long trial on twenty patients at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand India. And if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of it, the trial is titled “Non-randomized, Open-labeled, Interventional, Single Group, Proof of Concept Study With Multi-modality Approach in Cases of Brain Death Due to Traumatic Brain Injury Having Diffuse Axonal Injury,” which is entirely confusing, but get this: it’s a part of Bioquark’s Reanima Project. We’re basically living in the future, people. It might as well be the name of a top-secret scientific project run by a Bond villain or something.
In real life, it won’t be nearly as exciting as a Bond movie, or any of the Terminator films. As Engadget summarizes, scientists will “use multiple techniques to try and regenerate brains in 20 patients, including lasers, nerve stimulation and injections of both peptides as well as stem cells.” In essence, they’re hoping to figure out a way to make brain cells regenerate themselves like lizards regenerate their tails.
But they’re not actually expecting to bring anyone back to life. It’s a “proof of concept” study to see whether or not the idea is actually viable.
Dr. Sergei Paylian, Founder, President, and Chief Science Officer of Bioquark Inc. said this a press release about the trial approval:
“Through our study, we will gain unique insights into the state of human brain death, which will have important connections to future therapeutic development for other severe disorders of consciousness, such as coma, and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as a range of degenerative CNS conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
But…it’s certainly a step in the right direction, isn’t it? Reanimate dead brain cells today, bring back all the important people who have died in 2016 tomorrow? Here’s hoping the trial is a huge step forward for brain death research.