An Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health in the US and in India has given its approval to Biotech companies Revita Life Sciences and Bioquark Inc. for a possible groundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to revive dead people’s brains, The Telegraph reports.
Through the use of different therapies, the company will try to revive dead patients who are certified dead and only kept alive through life support. These therapies include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques that have been shown to bring patients out of comas.
The patients will be monitored for a number of months using brain imaging equipment to look for signs of regeneration, especially in the upper spinal cord- the lowest region of the brain stem which controls independent breathing and heartbeat.
The team is of the opinion that it is possible to revive dead people’s brains as the brain stem cells may be able to erase their history and begin life again, based on their surrounding tissue – a process seen in the animal kingdom in creatures like salamanders who can regrow entire limbs. Dr Ira Pastor, the CEO of Bioquark Inc. said:
“This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.
“We just received approval for our first 20 subjects and we hope to start recruiting patients immediately from this first site – we are working with the hospital now to identify families where there may be a religious or medical barrier to organ donation.
“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 two to three months.”
Dr Pastor added:
“It is a long term vision of ours that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study – but it is a bridge to that eventuality.”
While no animal has the ability to live after death, many have unique regenerative properties that can be mimicked using technology. Many species (such as amphibians, planarians, and certain fish) have substantial regenerative capabilities in the central nervous system, and they can repair, regenerate, and remodel substantial portions of their brain and brain stem even after critical life-threatening trauma.
Brain stem death is when a person no longer has any brain stem functions, and has permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe.
A person is confirmed as being dead when their brain stem function is permanently lost. However, although brain dead humans are technically no longer alive, their bodies can often still circulate blood, digest food, excrete waste, balance hormones, grow, sexually mature, heal wounds, spike a fever, and gestate and deliver a baby.
Dr Sergei Paylian, Founder, President, and Chief Science Officer of Bioquark Inc. said in a press release that:
“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.”