Can brain-dead patients be brought back to life?
Is death the end? Dr. Frankenstein would beg to differ. Basically, I guess it depends on how far gone we are. Zombies, for instance, leave a negative impression of what reanimation would be like, and yes, this would be too far gone for redemption, in my opinion. But what about patients diagnosed as brain-dead? Can these unfortunate souls be brought back to life?
The US and India may have been given the green light from the International Review Board for a recent endeavor, which includes using stem cells to bring the brain-dead back to life. It’s called ReAnima, and Bioquark, a Biotech company which deals with cellular reprogramming, along with Revita Life Sciences, collaborating on this project.
In this initiative, a team of experts, including Dr. Calixto Machado, will test a combination of therapies on test subjects, 20 participants who have been diagnosed as brain-dead. The only thing preventing decomposition for these test subjects is the fact that they remain on life support.
Ira Pastor, CEO of Bioquark, told the Telegraph,
It is a long-term vision of ours, that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus in the first study. It is a bridge to that eventuality.
A bridge to reanimation
There are obstacles within the human body which prevent a basic restart from giving us a do-over. If we want to try and bring our loved ones back from the gray of the in-between, we can start by bridging the difference, or rather take one step at a time.
Reactivation of the neurological processes is the key. If the spark ignites, the first signs of independent life will be found at the base of the brain and upper spinal cord. Here is where the cardiopulmonary processes are regulated. If the patient can breathe on their own and has a strong heartbeat, a major step has been made toward reanimation.
A team effort
The Bioquark team has big plans for the resurrection. The objective is to inject stem cells into the brain while administering spinal cord infusions and nerve stimulation. Stem cells have been used to regenerate heart, pancreatic and eye tissue, so why can’t it be used to develop neurons, right?
Like I said before, reanimation starts in the central nervous system. The reason why this isn’t just “easy as pie” is because the central nervous system is bioelectrochemical. This means that biologically constructed chemicals transmit electrical signals throughout the body. Although neurons can be electrically stimulated in coma patients, where some activity still exists, it’s not as easy as with brain-dead patients. At brain death, neurons wither and die, and a regeneration of the neurons themselves will have to occur in order to bring back life to dead brain cells.
Ira Pastor added,
To undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system. In patients with other severe disorders of consciousness, we hope to see results within the first 2 or 3 months.
It can take a while for stem cells to be directly injected into the body to mimic the most basic of cells – the nerve cell. We cannot know the results of each therapy immediately, either. It can take months of constant monitoring, to attain clear results. The rate depends on the case.
Until regeneration is a success, scientists will continue to bridge the gap by injecting chemicals acting as neurotransmitters and biweekly doses of stem cells. They will monitor the progress, hoping for the tiniest spark of life to develop within the sleep of the dead mind. These trials are set to begin at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur Uttarakhand in India.
Stay tuned for an update, you may be shocked at the results of our awakening.