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Experiment Aims to Reanimate the Brain Dead. What Could Go Wrong?

The end of death? You heard it here (and all over the net) first:

‘…[I]f one biotech firm has its way, soon doctors would be able to regrow the [brain of a brain-dead person], using a new procedure and a host of technologies, which could theoretically restore them to who they were before… The idea originates from nature, as certain fish and amphibians can actually heal whole sections of the brain, brain stem, and other portions of the central nervous system, even after significant injury. Scientists believe they can someday mimic this process in human patients.

This study surrounds Bioquark, Inc., a Philadelphia-based company, who has received ethical approval by a U.S. and Indian Institutional Review Board. Bioquark will collaborate with Revita Life Sciences, led by famed specialist Dr. Himanshu Bansaa. The team will run a pilot study of 20 clinically brain dead patients, each having suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Taking place at Anupam Hospital in India, Bioquark is currently recruiting patients for the study, expected to take place over six weeks.

Known as the “Reanima Project,” several different therapies will be employed in combination, including stem cells injected into the brain to try and regrow damaged portions, lasers, nerve stimulation techniques—which have been successful in waking patients out of a coma, and a combination of different peptides. The peptides will be introduced daily through a spinal cord pump, and the stem cells injected every other week. The patients will be evaluated and monitored for months with brain imaging technology and an EEG to see if the brain, particularly the upper spinal cord or lower brain stem region, is regenerated…

The CEO of Bioquark Inc. Dr. Ira Pastor, said in a statement that this was the first step toward the “eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.” He believes they will achieve results within the first couple of months or so. This is the seminal stage, a “proof of concept” study. If you are afraid of the zombie apocalypse, Dr. Pastor says a common sense protocol, adopted industry-wide, should avoid any nasty scenarios from taking place…’

Source: Big Think

A number of other great thought-provoking pieces in Big Think recently:

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