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The main theme behind this article is the revolutionary surgical operation, ‘A Head transplant’. The great minds of the world wait to witness this mega surgical operation which will be conducted on a 30 year old man belonging to Russia. A head transplant basically aims at transplanting whole human head. This has been practiced on few animals and they were successful so now the scientist are planning to move this step further and make a surgery in human patient as well. Since brain is the most important part of body and it controls all the essential functions of the body. People who have abnormalities that are damaging their brain or affecting their activity can have their normal activity and life back with this surgical solution. But most important thing that we need to understand that this surgery can be harmful and have negative effects later on. This surgery requires around 100 surgeons and it can be completed it 36 hours.
The news first broke at Italy by Dr Sergio Canavero a famous doctor and a part of Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group (TANG). Every next person who saw or heard the news was either in the state of shock or excitement. But everyone had their opinion and everyone is waiting for results. HEAVEN-GEMINI is the suggested name of this project and in June at 39th Annual Conference of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons' in Annapolis Dr Canavero discussed further details of how he think this operation can be made successful and what will be some of the complications that can hurdle in this operation.
Though this operation is quite difficult and its result is not even promising still Valery Spiridonov Vladimir, Russia is willing to be a volunteer in this operation. Spirindonov was diagnosed as a patient of Werdnig- Hoffman’s disease. This disease is associated with degeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord. This disease is genetic and is also called as type-1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Due to this patients lose their motor functions and are also unable top walk. The reason Spirindonov wants to volunteer for this surgery is he wants a new body before he dies.
The main and the most crucial part of thus operation was Spinal cord fusion. For this the head of donor is removed using ultra sharp blade, so that minimum damage occurs to spinal cord and it survives. Because if something happens to spinal cord the whole purpose of this operation will be lost. Basically the neurons and axons of both white matter and grey matter (components of spinal cord) are to be protected so that maximum capacity of brain can be used. Two main chemicals chitosan and polyethylene glycol will be used to enhance the process of fusion then muscle and blood supply will be stabilized. Then the patient will be drawn into coma for 3 to 4 days and then after recovery from coma some physical therapy for a year can make him ran a marathon.
Other doctors and neurosurgeons who came across this news called this operation as a failure and Arthur Caplan, PhD, director of medical ethics and NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, NY regarded Dr. Canavero as ‘nuts’ (Debra Goldschmidt). If the operation turns out to be successful then it can lead to major advancement in medicine and many other diseases can be treated with this.
According to my opinion there is no doubt that this operation is quite difficult but we should not sit back and leave this at least giving it a try because ‘Sky is the limit’.
Debra Goldschmidt, CNN. 'Are Human Head Transplants Coming Soon? - CNN.Com'. CNN. N.p., 2015. Web. 2 July 2015.