Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon attracted a lot of attention back in 2015 when he stated that he will be able to do a successful human head transplant by 2017. And you know what? Many ridiculed him, saying that he is crazy to think that anyone could do it with the technology we have right now, but all odds are that he is really going to do it. There is already a volunteer for that – Valery Spiridonov, a 32-year-old Russian citizen with Werdnig-Hoffmann disease. That disease is incurable and it is actually a type I spinal muscular atrophy. That guy actually offered his head for this procedure.
According to “The Independent”, Spiridonov is now a citizen of the People’s Republic of China and the operation should be performed during the first quarter of 2018.
Since the operation is planned to take place in China, with a national team of specialists led by doctor Xiaoping Ren. He actually researched that matter and came to the similar conclusion as Canavero did.
As the matter of fact, Xiaoping Ren is the best possible man for this procedure since he and his team already did the similar procedure with a human hand.
A Konami’s video game came out in 2015, right in the time when Canavero started talking about his plan to do a head transplant. That game was Metal Gear Solid Phantom Pain, and the main character had his arm removed and replaced by an artificial arm. Because of that similar theme, Canavero was accused of telling lies to promote the game. However, the guy has continued saying that exact same thing to this day. So it is obvious that those two things have nothing else in common except the theme.
Extremely Risky Procedure
Back in 2016, Canavero and Ren talked about the obvious risks of this procedure. It is a lengthy procedure with dozens of things that can go wrong. And when we say “lengthy”, we think one and a half day long procedure.
The other risky thing is that no one has ever done anything like that on a human being. Canavero did it on a monkey, but that is simply not the same thing.
However, Canavero is really confident.
Canavero said in one of his interviews that he was very pleased with the progress of the modern medicine and that the “possibilities are endless”.
He is so confident that he is already planning the next big thing – brain transplant! Canavero thinks that his team is going to do it sometime in the next two years (or three – it all depends on this first transplant).
Canavero and his team think that brain transplant could be better than transplanting the entire head. The risk of the negative immune response and body rejection would’ve been minimal, but there is that problem with how would a brain react to a new body. Would it know how to update itself?